Secrets for my success

Secrets for my success

For a man who has amassed a personal fortune of US$1.7bn, and is ranked the world’s seventh richest Arab, you would think Mishal Kanoo always knows what he’s doing.

But the deputy chairman of the Kanoo Group begs to differ. He admits that his stint on the operations side of his business “just drove me nuts”.

Fortunately the secret of Mishal Kanoo’s success has been finding out his strengths and weaknesses and playing to both of them.

“For me I have a problem in micro-managing things, I just don’t like it. That meant that staying within an operational body become harder and harder for me.”

After studying for an MBA at the University of St Thomas in Texas then spending a year working as an auditor for Arthur Andersen in Dubai he realised his ideal role was a strategic one and that what most interested him was overseeing his companies’ operations and deciding its future directions. “There are some people who like getting into details. You need those types of people to take the dream and make it into a reality. But what’s the use of paddling like the clappers without being able to see where you are heading? I wouldn’t want to paddle really hard if I was heading towards a waterfall. For me the paddling aspect is repetitive and cumbersome. For me it’s about taking a step back, looking out over the horizon and seeing where we should be going.”

Since taking up his role as deputy chairman in 1997, he has successfully steered his company away from several waterfalls; a feat he achieved by practicing his philosophy of accepting and learning from mistakes.
“One of the major trends in this part of the world is not admitting you’ve failed. But you can’t have a batting average of 100% it just doesn’t happen. There was a company that we set up over here in events production. Unfortunately in the end we looked at it and said we can’t see it continuing so we closed it down. I mean, I failed but I learned and that’s important.”

Kanoo believes the biggest asset a company has is its people and that nurturing them is the key to a company’s success.

“Honestly the most important factor you need to have is quality people. You can have a beautiful dream but if this dream cannot be translated into reality it’s useless.”

He is also a strong advocate of delegation. “Anyone who thinks he or she is jack of all trades ends up being master of none. If someone is willing to help you, why say no?” One of his biggest criticisms of the way businesses operate in the region is the time they take to make decisions. However Kanoo, who got married last year and is expecting his first child, urges businesses to do their research carefully before forming any long-term partnerships of their own: “Be very picky about who you are dealing with. Have an engagement period first, interact and once you are comfortable, then you get married.”

My top ten tips on how to get rich quick

1. Start investing early. The earlier you start investing the better.

2. Learn, educate yourself. You cannot succeed on somebody else’s knowledge.

3. Have good people to help you along the way. Listen to people’s advice. The reason why they are at the top of their game is because they’ve learnt everything. Take their wisdom and use it.

4. Understand the simple concept — if it’s too good to be true then it’s too good to be true.

5. if you want to be rich, there’s a simple formula you need to follow and those people who don’t will fail. You need to make more money than you spend.

6. Whenever you invest you should pay yourself first. Pay yourself a salary and this becomes your discretionary income.

7. There’s a very simple rule of thumb. If you take a sum of money with a 10% rate of return, it will take you seven years to double your money. If you have that in your sight you will understand how long it will take you to get to where you want to be.

8. When you have a target it’s easy to achieve your goals. Without a target life becomes a lot more difficult.

9. Pick what you invest in very carefully. Don’t invest with emotion.

10. If you fail to come up with good ideas send me your money and I’ll invest it for you.

Original Article on Arabian Business