This much I know: Sir Michael Hill

A few words about life from businessman Sir Michael Hill.
Sir Michael Hill.
Sir Michael Hill.

I don't think my ideas have changed about money. My father, mother and sisters and I used to go each week to the Auckland Savings Bank. I'd take my little book, the teller would count the money and stamp the book. It became a ritual and that money grew. The most difficult thing was to make the first $1000. That was a lot back then. It meant you were able to take a shot at something. It taught me that money doesn't come lightly and it's not something to be squandered.

Nowadays we can just about have everything we want. But money doesn't alter anything. You can be without it and still have a good life. It's nice to have but you have to have a respect for it. It helps you pursue dreams. I like to be able to give back. But it's nice to spend it and it gives freedom of choice. Spending benefits others. It keeps things in motion.

I owe the greatest debt to those who have stood against me. Like Jack Glanville, the principal at Whangarei Boys' High who toldmy parents I would never amount to anything. Give him a trade, he told them, and he might be okay.

This made me stronger.

We thrive when we're busy and motivated. We achieve greatness when we're all fired up. To be motivated is exciting.

I lost everything in our house fire in Whangarei. My 30-year goal began that night. I'm a believer in writing down goals. The moment you write about it, you're on your way.

I do miss being on the television. I enjoyed that. It was fascinating but hard-going. I got used to it in the end. Public speaking didn't come easily to me but it helped me. Once, if someone had asked me to do public speaking, I would've been terrified.

If I had to do it all again, it would be so nice to be aware of the things I know now. When I was miserable, it would've been nice to know that it would be okay.

Most of us do far too much of the things we don't want to do. Most of us think we can multitask but we can't. Switch off your phone. The world can be fine without you.

I would most like to play a round of golf on my course with Lydia Ko. I think she's probably the most amazing person I've ever met. She is an amazing young lady. She reminds me of Bob Charles, with that same focus - not distracted.

Sir Michael Hill is founder of Michael Hill International Ltd.

- Canvas

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