How to live your most successful life yet

At high school Catherine Robson told herself that she was no good at maths, so she dumped it and took up studies in another direction, brushing aside a love...

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It’s a story most of us can relate to, although maybe not the maths part, but it’s that little inner voice which Catherine Robson says can limit your success if you let it.
Today Catherine’s story is one of inspiration, and juggling a lot. She is one of the country’s most successful and awarded money advisers and oversees $200 million in client money in the company that she started in 2011, called Affinity Private.
She attributes most of her success to; changing the record in her head, starting the day with gratitude, harnessing the power of compounding across all aspects of her life, and, having one technology-free day with the family a month.
“I am an extremely optimistic person so I do see the glass half full.”
Of course it’s nothing new to hear highly successful people spruik the benefits of positive thinking. But it’s another thing entirely actually doing it consistently and across all facets of a very busy life.
In addition to her day job, Catherine has two children, a husband, sits on a couple of boards and industry groups. So she’s busy, we all are. But how does she make it work?
Here’s Catherine’s top tips on being positive and successful.
  1. Choose a job that you love and then choose your attitude. “Think about your thoughts and ask yourself, is it helpful to be saying to yourself, I am no good at this or I’m not going to make that train or be able to do that.”
  2. Draw a line between work and family. “For me a forced handbrake is really effective so I work one day a week from home, drop off and collect kids and also work quite a lot on weekend. “I also don’t use my mobile phone when I’m spending time with my kids and we have one screen free weekend a month, which is quiet refreshing.”
  3. Introduce a daily ritual of gratitude. “At Affinity, when we start our daily meeting each day, each person shares one good thing that has happened to them at work each day. It might be as simple as being grateful that your local barrister made a good cup of coffee, but it helps your mindset to start off on a positive note.”
  4. Choose a great life partner or surround yourself with people who respect you and support you. “My husband is amazing and makes life fun. Look for ways to invest in that relationship, a walk around the block together once in a while can be just as effective as a regular ‘date night’.”
  5. Eat right, sleep well and meditate. “Personally I do a little bit of yoga, meditation and personal trading twice a week with my husband. I also have vegetable smoothies for breakfast!”
  6. Negotiate better. “I’m not advocating that women simply ask for more money, but understand that negotiating is important and you can strive for win win outcomes such as workplace flexibility for employees and yourself.”
  7. Train your brain to scan for the positive not the negative.
  8. And, don’t get bogged down in the negative.
Catherine believes that the world is getting better particularly for women, but she concedes we all need to keep pushing ourselves for the better.
“We are also seeing a lot more women rise to success in this country. You only have to look at just how successful the women’s cricket has been this summer – it’s stuff like that which really makes me feel that women are standing up to take a greater leadership role.
Her key take away message: “Just don’t sit at the back but hope someone will notice you. Do the work and be prepared to try and fail. Understand the value of compounding – in money, relationships, and career.
“The work you do in your 20s may not get you to be that CEO right now, but the skills you learn and the things you create then all matter. Don’t be in a rush to get to the end point too quickly.”

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