I recently had the pleasure of connecting with Marc Demetriou. Marc is the author of Lessons From My Grandfather: Wisdom For Success In Business And Life.
In his book, Marc shares the lessons he’s learned from his grandfather Charlie Pistis. Lessons on family, business, and life. It’s a fascinating read and I’m excited to share more about Lessons From My Grandfather and what Marc wants you to learn from reading the book.
Wisdom For Success In Business And Life – An Interview With Marc Demetriou
- Lessons from My Grandfather shares insights into business and life from your grandfather Charlie Pistis. Why did you choose your grandfather as the inspiration for the book?
My grandfather was my best friend and mentor. He was an amazing man who left home at 16 by himself, determined to make something of himself and be someone in this world. He advanced in life purely because of who he was: hardworking, honest, passionate, likable and a friend to all!
- The subtitle of Lessons from My Grandfather is: Wisdom for Success in Business and Life. How would you describe success?
Success means something different to everyone. To me it means beating the rat race and having enough money saved up so that one doesn’t have to worry. It is also essential that one lives below their means so they are not strapped with the stress and burden of too much debt. Money doesn’t always bring happiness, but being able to pay the bills does allow for a comfortable life. Having extra money allows for a more enjoyable life, which to me is the most important part of life and being successful. Being successful in business is determined and measured in different ways. It’s mostly measured by revenue and income, but to me it is also important to make a positive impact on society. Whether it be with money or time for charitable endeavors or just helping others. This is what separates most.
- Early in Lessons From My Grandfather, you mention your grandfather left school in what would have been the equivalent of his sophomore year. Still, people sought him out for his advice. Why do you think these people sought out Charlie’s advice?
Charlie was a people person. His entire working life he was surrounded by successful people and he listened and learned from all of them. Think about how powerful that it is. The elites of New York City, the Wall Street Executives, the High Society crowd and also regular “good people.”
He listened to everyone who he spoke to and no one was ever beneath him. No One. So for that reason, he had a wealth of knowledge to share with all who would listen.
- Another portion of the book talks about finding mentors. Can you explain the importance of finding a mentor?
This is so important. I wrote this book so my grandfather would be able to mentor everyone who read it. And I also wrote it to give the 16 to 40-year-olds a mentor and playbook for success, as well as to inspire and guide the parents and grandparents to be the best mentors possible to their kids and grandkids. Mentors have wisdom, guidance, experience, and education. They can help prevent mistakes and right the wrongs. Life has ups and downs and having someone to help guide you allows for a better life. Some don’t always have genuine mentors in their immediate reach, however, they also still need to seek out someone, a coach, teacher, aunt, uncle or grandparent, etc., who can help find them find their way out.
- Can you share who you believe were Charlie’s mentors? Also, who are some of your mentors?
As I mentioned, Charlie had hundreds of mentors in life; he truly learned from everyone. In addition to my grandfather, my parents were also my mentors, each in their own way.
It’s also important to add that I was extremely fortunate because my grandfather was able to retire at 60, which was about the same time I was born. So I had the blessing of having him in my life most of the time until his passing at 97.
- A majority of Lessons from My Grandfather is about attitude. How does attitude impact success in life?
I have an entire chapter on Action and Attitude, as well as one on Purpose and Passion. Attitude is one of the essential pillars to leading a successful life. Here are a couple of sentences I pulled from the chapter on Attitude: “Your attitude is the embodiment of the very way in which you grapple with life. It is the living expression of your acceptance or rejection of what life dishes out to you. It is your signature, your logo, your mark. Your disposition and the way you carry yourself has everything to do with just how you advance in life. Stay upbeat and literally wear your commitment to giving your very best always and to delivering the goods on your sleeves. What is in the attitude, of course, is, in the end, what’s in you. So if being faithful and good at both your work and with the world matters to you, carry that. In fact, wear it. Wear the fact that you are a winner.”
- What can readers do to leave an impact on the lives of others like your grandfather did?
This is a loaded question. My grandfather got ahead in life because of who he was. In no specific order, if one was to live their life with these qualities, like my grandfather did, they will leave an impact on all that they meet: likeable, fun, hardworking, honest, faithful, loyal, friendly, passionate, driven, charitable, humble and just purely decent as a human being.
- Is there a final thought you’d like to leave with readers?
We all have the same 24 hours in a day and we get to choose how to use that time. Life is about tiny choices all day long. Strive for excellence in all that you do and remember to think of others always. Don’t ever look back except to learn from the past. Don’t allow negative thoughts to hold you hostage. Stay focused, stay positive and dream big. Make this life count and have a positive and lasting impact on as many people as you can along the way. We all will be remembered by how much we love and how much we were loved! Life is not a dress rehearsal!
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