Most of us know there is no one thing that will for sure lead you to success — it’s usually a combination of several things including luck, determination and skill. But according to Gary Cohn, the president and COO of Goldman Sachs, perhaps only one value truly matters when you strive for success.
On “Exchanges At Goldman Sachs,” the investment banking firm’s podcast, the 54-year-old Cohn shared some words of wisdom on what really makes people successful.
“The first thing I would tell them is it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be hard work.
“The one thing you realize if you’re going to be successful — no matter where you grew up, no matter what your educational level is, A. You can succeed, but B. The only way you’re going to succeed is by outworking everyone else.”
Of course, Cohn goes on to elaborate by saying that while hard work by itself isn’t everything, it is the most important value for any grand vision.
Through his position at the firm, Cohn explained that he’s had the opportunity to interact with today’s generation of entrepreneurs. While every entrepreneur has some sort of vision and creative idea for their company, which is certainly key, that alone is nothing if they aren’t “willing to outwork everyone else around them.”
Cohn, who also gives his children the same advice, is someone who knows how important hard work and determination are to reaching goals, whether it’s to make a difference in the world or to work in what you are really passionate about.
When Cohn was a child, all of his teachers and fellow students predicted his failure in life because of his dyslexia. If he was lucky, they said, he’d maybe grow up to be a truck driver.
After one incredibly determined move to get his foot in the door on Wall Street when he was struggling to find a job, his determination and hard work led him to 25 years of running one of the largest investment bank firms in the United States.
If you aren’t sure you agree with Cohn, you probably haven’t experienced real hard work in your life yet.