By the time I left school at the age of 15, with no qualifications, I had been called a few choice names by my teachers and received many predictions about where my future lay.
I will not go into detail, as some of the language used was not suitable for a respectable publication, but suffice to say none of my teachers foresaw that I would achieve the title bestowed upon me earlier this month of Professor Ken Davy.
The University of Huddersfield invited me to deliver a series of lectures on entrepreneurship and, at the first session, the university’s vice-chancellor did me the honour of appointing me visiting professor of entrepreneurship.
While the contents of that first lecture were nominally aimed towards entrepreneurs generally, much of the information I covered was applicable to all business owners, including financial advisers.
The most vital ingredient for any successful business is imagination. Only by allowing yourself to visualise exactly what you want, and focusing all your energies on achieving that vision, will it be successful.
If your starting point includes a list of obstacles to reaching your ultimate aim, then you are already laying the foundations of failure. Once you have imagined what you want to ultimately achieve, there are three essential innate tools that you need: enthusiasm, courage and goals. Achieving your vision relies on a committed belief in its realisation, the bravery to take the difficult steps needed and the ability to set goals that will guide you along the path to success, step by step.
You will also need four additional qualities, all of which can be learned: knowledge, attitude, skills and habits. Your mind can be trained to take on any behaviour – consciously at first and then subconsciously – in a surprisingly short period of time, as long as you are prepared to put in the work.
None of these qualities are beyond anyone who truly wants to make their dream a reality; everything can be achieved if you are prepared to put in the effort. As my dad used to say, you can achieve virtually anything if you are prepared to pay the price.
I will end this column with the same words I used to end my inaugural lecture: if it is not impossible, it must be possible.
Ken Davy is chairman of The SimplyBiz Group