Long time between posts again, but returning to university soon; so expect more.
I am writing this I guess after a lot of introspection and events I have witnessed and been part of this summer.
One of my role models is Joey Barton. This may be a shock to my newer friends (not my pre-uni lot), but he is a person I have admired for quite some time. I’m not going to go into details on whether he is a good or bad person, or whether the press accurately portrays him; but I will tell you exactly why I admire him.
He emphasises, above all things, working hard. Working hard, however clichéd it may seem, is one of the biggest and most fundamental abilities that lead to success. For him, it is working on his temper; it is working his way out of jail, working on his training, working on his reading and working on his reputation that have got him where he stands today.
He demonstrates that working hard is not just a short term effort. There are long and arduous paths that require a phenomenal amount of effort to get to something that others may perceive differently, but it is worth it to you. Working hard for something, no matter what your background is or what you are working for, is the greatest ability a person can exhibit.
I come from wonderful parents who did not have much when they were young, or when they were first married; but who have worked hard to get me to where I am and to provide for us all some comforts. My parents have made me work hard to get where I am. From a young age, I learned the value of money and working hard for it – selling sweets, investing and finally trading, I had to learn the hard way and to keep working at it to become better. I have also been boxing from the same young age, another sport where working hard is the only way to come out on top. Neither of these roads have been easy, and in the long run I have had setbacks and triumphs in both, but I always kept working.
The other reason I admire him was mentioned earlier and relates to my first point of admiration: “Working hard for something, no matter what your background is or what you are working for…”. For him, he comes from a working class family, and has worked hard to challenge perceptions about his origins – that a person can come from a tough road to home, and can still better themselves and be as equal and free as any other man. He reads Nietzsche, comments on philosophy, politics, ethics and numerous other topics, and has a criminal record and an undercurrent of violence. The latter does not make him any less of a person, and his honesty about everything and working hard to continue to better himself make him an equal. Regardless of your background, working hard makes you as equal as any other person and better than a person who does not.
I have faced numerous occasions here in finance where my boxing background and lack of prestige have been called in to question. Why would we pick you over him? Why didn’t you get into this place? How did you end up at this firm? This industry?
Answer: I worked hard to get here today. What separates me from them is that they have never had to graft as hard as I have to stand in front of you as their equal. I have had a rougher and harder upbringing, and still I possess all the knowledge they have and more.
And here I am, PnL in hand, two job offers and a fucking wealth of experience earned over this summer. I have more to say on the matter that ties in JB, his lessons and what I have seen nicely. It may even be a lesson to you. Stay tuned.