By Nader Bitar

Recently I was asked by someone how I got here. Given the conversation preceding this was about work, I assumed that this was a deeper question than quite literally how I arrived at the venue. Quick joke aside (by car, you?) I paused for a moment. How do you answer a question like that?

The usual ‘hard work and perseverance’ spiel seemed inadequate. Sure, there was A LOT of hard work involved and more failures than I care to remember, but really, at the heart of it, I think it’s more about my drive and ambition; traits I inherited from my parents.

Theirs was the example to follow and it was inevitable I would adopt this mentality too. My late father was often referred to as someone who could “sustain six generations ahead”, but material wealth aside, it was his passion and determination to always be the best of the best that really stuck with me. My mother is the same. Exceptionally resilient, she projects confidence whatever the situation. The image she presents to the world is the one she has shaped for herself.

It’s a good lesson to learn at an early age and something that has certainly helped me along my own journey. As a child, education was everything. It was to be prioritized over all else, because knowledge, I was told, kept you hungry. There was always something new to learn, different things to try – it’s like a never ending voyage of discovery. I’ll tell you, for someone like me – always restless with a million ideas whirring at once – this was a revelation.

My parents taught me to aim high, shine whenever I could, but always be humble too. I’ve already charted my failures and what it was like to be a teenage entrepreneur in previous posts – it definitely wasn’t a straight line to ‘the top’!

Unsurprisingly, making money as a 15-year-old is a lot different than earning a living at 31. Responsibility aside for a moment, your perspective shifts and you find yourself wanting to plan further ahead, looking at years down the line rather than just living month to month. My wife has been a big inspiration here, making me infinitely more conscious of how we should save to achieve our future goals.

Finding a partner that supports your dreams and encourages you, no matter how crazy your latest scheme may seem, is what ultimately motivates you to succeed. I’m not driven by making money. I see it as a means to an end, earning enough to be comfortable now and secure in future. My teenage self would be very proud, I think.

As you probably know, I’m not someone that will ever sit still for long. I already have future plans for a new venture when I’m old(er) and gray(er). I have an ultimate goal in mind that I visualize whenever I need to refocus my attention and energy in life. I’ll need funds, experience, contacts and a network of people I can rely on to make this a reality. In the meantime, I will maximize what is already available to me. Grow, sustain, invest. Repeat.

In January, it will be three years since my father passed away. It’s a constant reminder that life is volatile and you never know what’s just round the corner. Time is a great healer, just as everyone told me, and underneath the sadness I feel when I think about him, there is such pride in what he taught me. Because of him, I traveled the world, I owned property as soon as I was financially able, I became the best version of myself, at times achieving the seemingly impossible to get where I am. His presence is always with me, my silent supporter.

So, how did I get here? It’s a cliché, but yes, I worked very hard. I put the hours in. I soaked up every bit of knowledge that came my way, said yes to every experience and let my ambition guide me to where I am today.

Passion, determination, persistence – they all play a role, but consider other things as well. Who do you look to for inspiration, for guidance? For me, it’s my parents and family – they are my idols. My backbone that keeps me grounded and reminds me why I get out of bed in the morning? My wife. My purpose? My son, Adam. Everything I do, I do for him.

Ultimately, if I’ve learnt anything along this journey, it’s that we should all work on what matters to us. Help others and be humble – this is the best advice I can give you.