Richard St. John's success mantras decoded

Jun 26, 2012, 09:03 IST | Shakti Shetty

Over the past decade, success analyst and entrepreneur Richard St. John has interviewed more than 500 successful people from North America and Europe

The list includes names like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, Richard Branson and the like. These interactions resulted into an extensive research that helped him understand what makes his interviewees different from the rest. In his book titled ‘8 To Be Great’, the self-made millionaire pinpoints eight characteristics common among the most accomplished individuals. He spoke to CS during his recent visit to the city:

Meaning of success
I prefer to call myself a success analyst and to me, success is a state of mind. If a person has set a target for himself and he or she achieves it without compromising on principles and time, then that person is successful. It could be anyone from a mother raising a family or a CEO hitting the huge numbers. I even interviewed parents and learned how their success is intertwined in their offspring’s success.

Culturally different
I did interact with a lot of Indian-Americans but not all of them were entrepreneurs. I also spoke to Shashi Tharoor and recorded his views on the topic at hand. Conversing with Pico Iyer was an enriching experience too. I’d like to elaborate on the idea of success in India and how it varies from the one we adhere to in the West. Asian ethos makes failure a taboo whereas the American society feels failure is an essential part of success. Having said that, different cultures perceives success differently.

India calling
I’ve been to India before. In the late 1970s, I bicycled across the country from Mumbai to Kolkata. It took me three months and at the end of the journey,
I had covered 13,000 kms on road. I’ve been visiting the country with my wife since then. I also participated in the marathon at Mt. Everest in Nepal. Being 65-year-old, my mission was to complete it and I did. 

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