David Gilmour, a serial entrepreneur, sat down with the Wall Street Journal to discuss his three secrets to success. Gilmour founded Fiji Water and Clairtone Sound Corporation Limited. In this interview he shares his insights on how to start a new business and his approach to success.

Some of his more valuable insights:

Be a leader and not a follower.

Men make money, but money doesn’t make men.

Make others rich and you’ll make yourself rich.

The true entrepreneur is a creator and not an opportunist.

Have a plan and perfect your plan before you launch.

Surround yourself with people who can be better than you.

Do what you love.

(Thanks to Barry Ritholtz):

Source: WSJ


Got a comment or question about this post? Feel free to use the Ask Cullen section, leave a comment in the forum or send me a message on Twitter.

Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC. Orcam is a financial services firm offering research, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services.

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  • VII

    A special man. his opening story of traveling alone is cool.

    I always dig these more than the other stuff I consume myself with.

    Thanks CR- Great video

  • Michael Covel

    Opening story about travel — so dead on.

  • Adam2

    Music entrepreneurship — cool. Fiji water?!? Really? The same guy.

  • UltimateSmartMoney

    Even with these secrets, it is very difficult to succeed. You really need to know exactly what you are doing and you also need some luck.

  • JWG

    “Do what you love”. I always wonder about that one. What if you love hanging out in honky tonks and sleeping until noon?

  • Nils

    I’d much prefer that to working ;)

  • Nils

    Exactly. Most people retrospectively attribute being favored by randomness to something they believe. But the same way there are a lot who attribute their wrong decisions to bad luck. So it all evens out. Neither helps you being successful.

  • goodfriend

    Nice thougths, close to Ray Dalio on some suggestions…

    I’ll interpret the “Make others rich and you’ll make yourself rich.” more largely: share your knowledge. Ask more to people you work with and be at least as exigent with yourself. Being a hard worker is the best way to have people around you working hard.

    I’ll add a few stuffs:

    – Do not forget to step back, get out of daily stuff, look at the global picture and check if you are still heading in the rigth direction.

    – Be humble and wherever you’ve landed (crisis had me out of banking and bonuses) try to optimise your situation (i.e. even in a step down don’t act like you’re a star that deserve better…just play the game)

    – be fair and honest to others (which is not the same thing as being permissive and weak) and challenge people (even your bosses): do not fall and do not other people fall in intellectual laziness, there’s nothing worst.

    – and inspired by Nils: be humble and do not forget that randomness probably explains 80% of your situation, still it’s up to you to juice out as much as possible from the remaining 20%

    PS: i’m not successful so take those points as you want

  • Cullen Roche

    I don’t doubt that luck plays a large role. I am a big believer in the idea that you’re largely molded by who raises your and who influences you growing up. You can’t control that. But you also have to have an inherent desire to succeed. A drive. A passion. So yes, luck plays a role, but you can also make your own luck to a large degree.

  • Captain REALLY Obvious

    I’ll subscribe to these. It’s a helluva lot better than listening to someone who was given the choice to travel the world from the age of 16-25…wearing white jeans, white sweaters, and blazers. All on $10/day of course. You know, because he sucked as a student.

    That’s when I stopped listening (really, I did), so perhaps I missed something regarding his “secrets”. Which may or may not be related to the “struggles” I am assuming he had to overcome.

  • sc

    You can start from the simple adage that what you put in determines to a large extent what you get out.Hence ,the comment about drive,passion etc is so very important. I’ve heard it expressed for traders that you cannot eat like a butterfly and shit like an elephant.From a business point of view though it works the same way.If you play at it you’re hardly likely to move mountains,but if what you’re doing is a passion then you’re likely to give it everything and though this does not guarantee success I’d say it is a prerequisite to being successful.

  • sc

    Then be a really good DJ

  • Pod

    I thnink a thoughtful – and comprehensive – debate would be interesting

  • Conventional Wisdumb

    Luck is preparedness meeting opportunity.

  • PedroCPAGuy

    Back in the late 1960s a crusty old client, who never completed high school but whose corporation netted about $10 million a year, commented to me: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

    His family life was just as positive as his entrepreneurial life, too.

  • VII

    SC- Well said..I liked your comments.

    Looking at Steve Jobs’s being given up then not wanted and ultimatley brought into a loving family and what he did with the time he had here I think we attribute correlation to causation.

    Some people just have it. Sometimes these people must take the muddy road which makes their body and mind stronger. They attribute their success to that. That journey is what made them successful. Sometimes they take a road of European travel on $10 day every summer until their 25. And this luxury of lifes experiences on an easier road is what made them.

    Our parents and upbringing made us who we are but it is our actions that determines what happens next.

    I have my own story and I think because of my experience some people just have it. And some people are able to aquire it by hard work. I just can’t believe it’s one thing or another. I’ve seen too much to prove their is some correct way or manual in this life.

  • VII

    well said!

  • MMTer

    Why even bother engaging him in the forum? Denninger is insane. He is literally insane. No one takes him seriously except for his weird tea party followers. The guy’s been wrong about so much stuff in the last few years that it’s amazing he has any readers left. His comments about you and Greece over a year ago are just the tip of the iceberg. Let a dead dog lie. Denninger doesn’t hold a candle to you.

  • Cullen Roche

    KD has a large audience. So it’s important to point out a simple example like his Greece comments, that show other readers how wrong he has been in the past. If you understand the basic differences in the monetary systems (which anyone reading Pragcap can lecture KD on by now) then you see that he has a less than amateurish understanding of these subjects. He thinks he “smacked” me down, but all he did was write an immature, loud and inaccurate post about me which gave me an opening to point out that he did the same thing 1 year ago and was just horribly wrong in every regard.

    I said it yesterday. Anyone out there should avoid reading this man’s work. He is brutally dangerous to your understanding of monetary systems. If his Greece comments don’t make that clear then I don’t know what else will…..

  • MMTer

    You don’t have to defeat the Karl Denninger’s of the world. Keep your focus on the people who actually influence policy and the course of the economic debate. Trust me, no one expects you to jump into the kiddie pool with Karl and choke him out. He does a fine job of drowning himself if you have a basic understanding of MMT.

  • Mike Bell

    “Do what you love”.
    So tired of reading this advice from wealthy people. Such BS.

    The vast majority of people cannot do what they love, well, not for a living.
    I love playing guitar and piano. I had 3 children to raise. I could not afford to “do what I love” (to do so would have been very selfish). I also love spending time with my children. Nobody will pay me to do that. heheh.

    Easy for WEB et al to say “do what you love”. I do thinkt hat these people are being sincere, i.e. I believe that THEY are fortunate enough to do what they love. If you “love” being in business, and are successful at it, congratulations. You are fortunate enough to be able to do what you love. But for the rest of us, most of us can’t just do what we love. Things aren’t that simple. If you’re an artist, an aspiring musician, an athlete, and you think that’s your true calling, well then, go for it. Life isn’t just about paying the rent. Go for your dream. Fine. But you WILL likely pay a financial price for your choice because the reality is that most don’t make it.

    Here’s my rule for the rest of us: do what you don’t hate. lol. There’s nothing wrong with having a career in order to provide a certain standard of living while “doing what you love” in your spare time. It’s reasonable. It works. As long as you don’t hate it. Unless desperate for money, don’t put up with something that makes you miserable.

    I’ve had a number of jobs/careers so far. All of them had elements I enjoyed and others that I really didn’t. Such is life.

    Do waiters and waitresses love what they are doing? Most do not. However, we need them to serve food, and they need the jobs to pay the bills.

    “Doing what you love” is a luxury that very few in society can do. It just seems that the only people who you hear this from are those who are financially independent. Such heroes!

  • casanova

    The one all successful people fail to mention is :

  • Fabian Hug

    Well there is a say: to be at the right place at the right time. This makes the difference between the exceptional and the merely successful. But if you work hard and apply these recipes you’ll be at least successful, which is not that bad. The rest is fate.

  • JWG

    Or a bartender; or a piano player in a house of ill repute.

  • Captain REALLY Obvious

    Gawd, Cullen, I can’t believe you left my response to your forum post. I forget I do these things, and while I’m still laughing, I am sure no one else is. The best part? I LOVE that song, even the 8-bit version. Just stop me.

  • Cullen Roche

    Why would I erase that? It was hilarious. Do you think I am that uptight?

  • Captain REALLY Obvious

    I am STILL listening to it.

    (Taps foot).

  • Nils

    The Rickroll is so last year. Here is what you do now: