Hello Monaco magazine Spring-Summer 2018 - issue HM03 - Page 35

MONACO WORDS OF WISDOM
HM : Do you differentiate your job from your life purpose ? GK : A lot of people ask if I like my job , but the problem is there is no difference between my hobby , which is travel ling , and my job . So , I actually haven ’ t worked a day in my life . I ’ m the only guy you ’ ve ever met that runs a super-successful business who ’ s never really worked . It ’ s what I love doing . Every morning , I wake up and think , oh my god ; I can ’ t wait to go to the South Pole ! I take a trip there , look at the Emperor penguins and then take another trip . I just got back from the base camp at Everest . It ’ s amazing because you ’ re able to transmit the passion you have for life and communicate to other people . And other people like to do what I like to do , luckily . So that ’ s why it ’ s been such a successful business .
HM : Have you ever had a life-changing experience ? GK : I ’ ve had many life-changing events . When I was 17 , I was living in Mombasa in Kenya , and I ’ d just completed my motorbike trip from Nairobi to Cape Town . My father said to me : « I ’ m fed-up with you . You ’ re ill-disciplined and you have no future . You ’ re going to this wonderful place in England called the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst ». When you get in a troop plane and you wind up in the British military — that ’ s lifechanging ! [ laughs ]. But it taught me how to run A & K , because it ’ s a logistics business . Later , I became a successful polo player , winning the US Open twice and played with the Prince of Wales ’ team in England . I had a huge accident in 1996 — I ’ m lucky to be alive . That was life-changing , because I could never play again . So , then I had to turn all my attention into the business . If I hadn ’ t had that accident , I probably wouldn ’ t have made A & K such a great company . And there are life-changing moments happening all the time , including the experiences you have while travelling the world : diving in Palau or hiking Mount Everest . Seeing the effects of climate change first-hand is also life-changing . People are always saying , oh is climate change real ? CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL . Are the seas rising ? Yes , they are . Some of the Solomon Islands — gone . Has the snow melted from Mount Everest ? Completely . It ’ s black rock . As you go around , you know it is for sure happening .
HM : Do you need to be in harmony with the world ? GK : I think you ’ re addressing that question to the wrong person . I grew up in Africa . There is no harmony in Africa . When you grow up , you have to survive . I survived the Mau Mau . I survived coup d ’ etats . So , my whole life has been surviving . It ’ s got nothing to do with harmony . Harmony is when everything is nice and quiet . All my life , I ’ ve been on the edge , whether I was a polo player , in the British Army , being locked up in Sudan — there are stories in my book . I was always living on the edge . I never had a chance to sit down and think , « wow , I ’ d like to be in harmony ». So , I don ’ t have this need for harmony and I don ’ t have this feeling of what ’ s inside me or what ’ s outside me . What I am is what you get . That ’ s it . Just get on with life .
HM : What is happiness for you ? GK : Happiness is all sorts of things . But for me , happiness is if my company has a positive cash flow and I have a lot of money in the bank . That ’ s the first thing . As long as that ’ s working , everything else falls into line . If that goes wrong , everything else starts to go wrong . If your company ’ s not doing well , and money is an issue , then your personal relationships become an issue , whether it ’ s friends or wives . For me , it ’ s
Every morning when you get up , « the coffee cup », whether it ’ s at half empty or a quarter , you must think it ’ s full . I always think the coffee cup is full . That ’ s how I approach life .
to be very successful in my business , and then everything else is successful . Obviously , my wife and my family are very important — more important . But you have to have the two together . If one is off kilter , the others will be too .
HM : Do you have a role model , or someone you really admire ? GK : When I was really young , I admired a famous general who fought in WWII . General John Frost was the hero of Bruneval and had a movie made about him — « A Bridge too Far ». He ’ s my hero . Then there are the inspirational business people I ’ ve met , like David Rockefeller , who just died sadly . He was one of my first clients and he took 48 trips with A & K . He was an ama zing man and did so much good around the world , and I thought he was amazing . Ted Turner , the founder of CNN , he ’ s a very close friend of mine . We spend a week with him every year . He ’ s fantastic . To sit with him on one of his ranches and hear how he loves ecology ; how he gave $ 1 billion away to the UN ; how he saved the bison . He ’ s an amazing , incre dible person in every way — he ’ s one of my heroes .
HM : What are your criteria for success ? GK : I was a world-class polo player at one time and success for me was winning the US Open . I won it once ; I won it twice . I won the World Cup . For me , success is somewhere in my head , winning . I ’ m very , very competitive . Whatever I do , I have to win . I have to be the best . There ’ s never ever this « oh , let ’ s go and have this …» No . It ’ s got to be a world-class product and beat everybody else . What I like about being successful is everybody comes up to me and says , wow , A & K is once again the world ’ s best tour operator — we ’ ve been named that 16 times in the last 16 years . We are the best . And if we ever don ’ t win it , then I ’ m upset . It is a mental thing . Success is being recognised for doing something great .
HM : If you don ’ t succeed at something , how do you feel about it ? GK : In life , you will never win the first time , or even the first five times you try something . So , if you don ’ t succeed the first time , you sit back , look at what ’ s wrong and go do it again . What went wrong ? Go do it again . And so on . You never , never , never give up . Keep on trying , analysing what went
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MONACO WORDS OF WISDOM HM: Do you differentiate your job from your life purpose? GK: A lot of people ask if I like my job, but the problem is there is no difference between my hobby, which is travel­ling, and my job. So, I actually haven’t worked a day in my life. I’m the only guy you’ve ever met that runs a super-successful business who’s never really worked. It’s what I love doing. Every morning, I wake up and think, oh my god; I can’t wait to go to the South Pole! I take a trip there, look at the Emperor penguins and then take another trip. I just got back from the base camp at Everest. It’s amazing because you’re able to transmit the passion you have for life and communicate to other peo- ple. And other people like to do what I like to do, luckily. So that’s why it’s been such a successful business. HM: Have you ever had a life-changing experience? GK: I’ve had many life-changing events. When I was 17, I was living in Mombasa in Kenya, and I’d just completed my motorbike trip from Nairobi to Cape Town. My father said to me: «I’m fed-up with you. You’re ill-disciplined and you have no future. You’re going to this wonderful place in Eng- land called the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst». When you get in a troop plane and you wind up in the British military — that’s life- changing! [laughs]. But it taught me how to run A&K, because it’s a logistics business. Later, I became a successful polo player, winning the US Open twice and played with the Prince of Wales’ team in Eng- land. I had a huge accident in 1996 — I’m lucky to be alive. That was life-changing, because I could never play again. So, then I had to turn all my attention into the business. If I hadn’t had that accident, I pro­ bably wouldn’t have made A&K such a great company. And there are life-changing mo- ments happening all the time, in- cluding the experiences you ]B[H][[Hܛ][š[[]H܈Z[[[]\\ YZ[HYXو[X]H[B\ Z[\[YKX[[ˈ[BH\H[^\^Z[\[X]B[HX[SPUHSHT”PS \HHX\\[Y\^B\KYHوH[ۈ\[8%ۙK\HۛY[YH[[]\\\][K]8&\Xœˈ\[H\[ [Hۛ]\܈\H\[[˂H\HX\ٝ[[^H\[\[[]\][[H\XB\ٝ[ ؝[\K^HYH[^H[Z[H\H\H[\ܝ[8%[ܙB[\ܝ[ ][H]H]HH]\YۙH\ٙ[\H\[H˂N[H]HHH[[ ܈Y[ۙH[HX[HYZ\O‘Έ[H\X[H[[HYZ\YH[[\[\[™Y[RK[\[\H\و[][[YH[ݚYHXYHX][H8%0HYH\ˈx&\^H\˂[\H\HH[\][ۘ[\[\[Hx&]HY] ZH]YY[\\YYY BKH\ۙHو^H\Y[˜[H \]I˂H\[[Xp^[X[[Y]X\[Hܛ [HYH\[X^[˂Y\\H[\وӓx&\H\HHY[وZ[KH[HYZ][H]KBHYX\x&\[\Xˈ]][HۈۙHو\[\[X\Hݙ\XNH]H H[[ۈ]^HHSšH]YH\ۋx&\[[X^[[ܙpYXH\ۈ[]\B^p8%x&\ۙHو^H\\˂]\H[ܛ[[[H]\ HٙYH\0]\]8&\][[\H܈H]X\\[H]\[]8&\[ H[^\[HٙYH\\[ ]8&\’H\XYKN[HYYH[\[۞H]Hܛ‘ΈH[[x&\HY\[]]Y\[ۈHܛۙ\ۋHܙ]\[YXK\H\\[۞H[YXK[[Hܛ\ [H]Hœ\]KH\]YHX]HX]KH\]Y\8&Y]]ˈ^HHYB\Y[\][ˈ]8&\[]\[۞K\[۞H\[]\][\XH[]ZY] [^HYKx&]HY[ۈHYK]\p\H^Y\[H]\\^KZ[Y\[Y[8%\B\HܚY\[^HˈH\[^\][ۈHYKH]\YH[B]ۈ[[0x&YZHH[\[۞pˈH۸&]]B\YY܈\[۞H[H۸&]]H\Y[[و]8&\[YHYH܂]8&\]YHYK]H[H\][H] ]8&\] \]ۈ]YKN]\\[\܈[O‘Έ\[\\[ܝو[ˈ]܈YK\[\\Y^HKB[H\H]]H\[H]HHو[ۙ^H[H[˂]8&\H\[ˈ\ۙ\]8&\ܚ[]\][[H[š[[KY]\ܛۙ]\][[H\ܛۙˈY[\\[x&\[[ [[ۙ^H\[\YK[[\\ۘ[[][ۜ\XYH[\YK]\]8&\Y[܈]\ˈ܈YK]8&\’N]\H[\ܚ]\XH܈X\‘ΈH\Hܛ X\^Y\]ۙH[YH[X\܈YB\[[HT[Hۈ]ۘNHۈ]XKHۈBܛ\ ܈YKX\\Y]\H[^HXY [[˂x&[H\K\H\]]]K]]\HH]H[H]H˜HH\ \x&\]\]\\0 ]8&\[]H\)“ˈ]8&\HHܛ X\X[X]]\XH[K]HZHX]Z[X\ٝ[\]\XHY\\YB[^\I\ۘHYZ[Hܛ8&\\\\KBܰ8%x&]HY[Y] M[Y\[H\ MYX\ˈH\BH\ [YH]\۸&][] [x&[H\] ]\HY[[[ˈX\\Z[Xۚ\Y܈[Y][ܙX] NY[H۸&]XYY]Y][[HY[X]]‘Έ[YK[H[]\[H\[YK܈][H\]H[Y\[BHY][ˈY[H۸&]XYYH\[YK[H]X]]8&\ܛۙ[]YZ[][ܛۙ]YZ[[›ۋ[H]\]\]\]H\ Y\ۈZ[[[\[][[[ۘX[$[[Y\ N