Norman Peires’ always knew that he was destined to set up a flourishing business. His parents never pushed him into commerce – they just told him that he should try to be successful in whatever he wanted to do.
He had no head-start in life, growing up in a poor community in South Africa, with strong Eastern European Jewish roots. There were a handful who were well-off, but Norman says it was his upbringing and early experiences that really influenced his path in life. It was the hunger to prove himself and his wish to be able to provide for others that proved his greatest motivation.
Norman went on to establish a luxury travel company and his rise to the top mirrors the path of so many entrepreneurs who came from similar backgrounds and strove to build international businesses.
Grounded by their humble beginnings, they drove themselves on through sheer determination and desire.
Norman says business people could learn a lot from the way athletes prepare themselves for competition. “Think of it like training for a sport. Sports players train hard, they don’t just turn up for the game,” he says.
Success rarely comes easily in sport or commerce. But it’s vital when starting up a new business venture that you aren’t afraid of failing.
“In both life and business, it’s necessary to take risks. You need to be prepared for setbacks, but unless you take risks you can’t be successful,” explains Norman.
In a recent interview, he stressed the importance of learning from mistakes, “You can’t hold back, you have to make decisions. Sometimes it won’t work out, but then you’ve just got to learn from it what you can, and make the right decisions to start over.”
Having a positive mental attitude about everything that comes your way ensures that you learn from every failure, which, in turn, helps you to grow stronger and more confident.
On top of this, it’s important to push yourself, set goals and try to become as knowledgeable as you can about your line of business. “You should always try to learn more about your field. Aim to become an expert in your field. I don’t think it’s beneficial to know about lots of different fields, I mean, how many can you cover well on your own?” he says.
He believes it’s important to keep a narrow focus and concentrate on your goals, and set out a strategy to achieve them.
“Write out a plan and think about what you want to achieve, today, this week, this month, next year, in 10 years’. If you set your aim too low, you won’t achieve great things, but if you set it high and want it enough you can achieve it,” he explains enthusiastically.
As he’s said in the past, “You need to follow the scent, use your nose. If there is money there go and get it!”