Hey y’all! In my career I’ve met a lot of achievers, both famous and not so famous and I loved collecting their stories. One thing they all had in common was an absolute blind refusal to give up when the load became too heavy.
The ability to pick oneself off the ground…(yet again!) and dust off the seat of our pants is in all of us. If you are experiencing tough times this little series of stories is for you. For some folk, who seem to have been handed it all on a plate, their stories will surprise you!
WHO? : Conrad Hilton
IS? : Founder of Hilton Hotels (and Paris Hilton).
SAID? : ‘Success seems to be connected with action. Successful men keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.’
The name Hilton may elicit images of partying, dodgy sex videos and airhead behaviour but Paris Hilton’s great grandfather’s work some decades ago is responsible for her sometimes ubiquitous presence in the media today. Like previous examples, Conrad Hilton serves as another sparkling example of beating harsh personal and financial circumstances whether they are happenstance or self inflicted.
Hilton bought his first hotel in Texas 1919. He added to this by building his first hotel from scratch six years later. Another hotel opened in two more years and at least another three over the following decade. This rapid growth led to him forming the Hilton Hotels Corporation and because he was also expanding into areas such as credit cards and travel services he formed the Hilton International Company by 1948.
During the Great Depression which swept through most of the 1930’s, Hilton’s nascent empire spiralled into debt and one by one he began losing his properties. He was unable to finish the new hotels he had started building and he was forced to sell off the ones already up and running.
Hilton however fought to be retained as the manager by the new owners of his hotel empire and he resolved to work hard to find his way out of his difficulties.
Utilizing his upstanding reputation and the goodwill he had previously cultivated, (quite an important point), he was able to obtain the goods he needed on credit during the uncertain times to continue the smooth running of the corporation.
Slowly but surely by keeping tenuous hold of his interests he was able to work his way back into ownership of his own creation eventually buying all his hotels back and expanding his empire greater than it was before. In doing so he created the worlds first international hotel chain
…and Paris Hilton.
Grrr! Why YOU ain’t beat yet!
You are not beaten because seemingly once you have
1. A Plan
no circumstance will be able to thwart your purpose. Perhaps the greatest battle we have is with ourselves and our own self doubt.
Hilton was also able to do what so many of my featured profiles were able to do and that is ‘Keep His Eyes On The Prize’. How humbling do you imagine it was, going to work in your own ex-hotel as the manager rather than the grand owner? But the ‘shame’ of it was not his focus.
It Wasn’t Me!
It would have been really easy don’t you think for Hilton to consider himself the unluckiest man alive to have lost everything he had worked so hard to attain. He could have wallowed in his loss and perhaps turned to drink or drugs whilst revisiting the story of how he had lost everything to anyone in a bar who would listen or revolving it around in his head time and time again.
Or what about the perennial favourite of finding someone else to blame? Recognize this behaviour pattern? Sure you do! I do! Instead he placed his focus on getting his empire back and making it bigger, better and stronger than ever before.
Hilton also had a hidden weapon in his back pocket. His grounding in his Christian faith. It would have given him that mental and spiritual strength that would have been needed to get over the initial loss of his empire and see the future possibilities beyond his situation. Spiritual faith aligned with any denomination of your choice cannot be under estimated because although intangible and hard to quantify, it drives the mechanics of physical change that we are able to see. It’s lack of absolute definition is what makes its power potent and infinite because you can mould it’s power to suit your needs.
One Last Grrr!
Grrr! Okay no more excuses. You have a dream? A business, an artistic endeavour, a family to raise? Go get ’em tigers!