Oliver Emberton: What Makes Him Extraordinary and How Can We Be Like Him 173

oliver emberton life lessons

Some time ago I wrote a post in which I shared with you 5 awesome blogs I’m currently following and the things I’ve learned from them.

But it’s really more about the people behind them. So I presented to you 5 individuals that have achieved great stuff in life, who are passionate, innovative, living unusually and far from the average.
Their words are inspiring and powerful, their actions speak for themselves, and even a single post written by them can change my way of thinking.

That’s why I consider this post a helpful resource. And to this day readers click on the links I’ve given inside and visit their blogs.

Which means that people are looking for others to motivate them, are interested in the story of extraordinary people and want to get similar results.

And every now and then I find new role models like that. Whose list of achievements makes me analyze how far I’ve come, and what I should change in order to level up. Whose list of aspirations and goals makes me smile while reading as it’s not only ambitious, but specific, carefully thought-out, and absolutely mind-blowing.

So I decided to present to you such awesome people, but also that each deserves a post of his own.

And that’s the first one. It’s about Oliver Emberton.

Who is Oliver Emberton?

He describes himself as “possibly the most unashamedly ambitious person you know”.

He knows exactly what he wants to do with his life – he plans, for instance, to build a public software company from the ground up and knows this will take the most of his life – about 40 years; also wants to focus his later years on charity and investing. And, in the end, to leave the world a better place.
That may sound too harsh for some as the thought of what their life will look like decades from now scares them, or too impossible for others, as daring to dream big isn’t exactly what society expects us to do.

But I believe that the few people in this world that actually achieve stuff on such a global scale are exactly like Oliver.

Reaching goals like that means being absolutely serious about it, loving the idea that you’ll be taking action towards them every single day for the rest of your life, structuring your days, habits and behavior around them, and fighting your inner demons and letting go of the limitations in your head that usually stop us from moving forward fast.

And considering his history and what he’s already achieved, I think it won’t come as a surprise that he’ll be exactly where he wants to be in the future.

What Has He Accomplished So Far?

  • started programming computers at 8;
  • decided he wanted to run his own videogame business at 13 – he used to write a lot of games and just started selling them to others at school;
  • wrote his own video codec, web-like browser and graphical editing tools before he had even seen the Internet;
  • founded Silktide Ltd (a company making software that measures how good websites are and finds ways to improve them ) when he graduated;
  • after spending the first year barely surviving and working his ass off, he grew the company to a profitable business;
  • worked on other projects that made him a tone of money and the products were used by millions of people;
  • Silktide focused on software and grew by 300% in a year;
  • then in the last few years his posts became viral and thus he became a popular blogger (you can see here how he went from nobody on the Internet to a blogger whose articles have been read over 9 million times and published on Forbes, TIME and Huffington Post)

This one goes viral and in a week publishers contacted him for book, movie and TV rights.
This one becomes the most upvoted post on Quora ever.
– And this is his most successful written article ever (received over 4 million views in two weeks).

If you check his blog, you’ll see that he uses awesome images like that:

oliver emberton image

And simple but useful graphics like that to talk about self-improvement, achieving more in life, hacks and strategies:

oliver emberton

But that’s not all. What makes him even more interesting are his hobbies the set of skills he’s acquired:

– salsa
– piano
– marathon running
– graphic design
– passionate reader
– photography
– started doing 30 day challenges to excel in all areas of life.

What Makes Him Extraordinary?

Some stuff he shares about his personality in his more detailed about page are:

  • interested in doing the right thing;
  • finding smart ways to get things done and be focused on what matters (in this post he talks about the importance of prioritizing – doing what’s connected with your goals and always choosing it before urgent tasks and distractions);
  • he’s all about knowledge and self-growth in every aspect of life;
  • ‘able to leave relationships without looking back’;
  • takes constructive criticism quite well;
  • aware of each of his weaknesses and admitting them;
  • values the importance of understanding life and finding meaning;
  • wants to get the most out of life;
  • he’s unapologetic for his big aspirations;
  • realizes the possibilities of the Web and benefits from it;
  • knows that the only thing standing between us and success is our tendency to blame something else about the stuff that happens to us in life – and the solution to that is to take full responsibility of our actions;
  • says that we only get one shot at life – and instead of getting depressed and discouraged by this fact, like many people choose to do, he dedicates his days to being the best at what he does, getting maximum results, improving himself and leaving a mark in the world.

So how can we be like him?

Simply by following his steps.
By reading his posts and grasping his ideas, by imitating his passion, desire to learn, grow and succeed.

Quotes and Thoughts About Life from Oliver Emberton

Here are some words of wisdom from him:

I’d rather aim for the stars and reach the moon, then wonder what might have been.

You don’t live forever though, so to get great at something means saying no to something else. You must pick, and focus. Fully developed strengths tend to make your weaknesses redundant. Woody Allen would not be better off if he had spent less time writing and more time at the gym.

Original ideas are overrated. What isn’t overrated is timing. Google chose the perfect time to build a better search engine – good luck trying to do that now *cough* Bing *cough*. What you want, therefore, is an astute awareness of a need that is currently underrepresented in the market. You want to spot a product or service that can go places – original or not. It’s usually easier to refine an existing idea that isn’t fully realised than to create a wholly original one.

Starting a company is a bit like parenting; everyone assumes you know what you’re doing, but babies and companies don’t come with instruction manuals. You stumble through it, learning as you go.

If you’ve found yourself having a crappy pointless argument, chances are you were a bad mix of tired, stressed, or hungry at the time. If you want to be your wittiest, smartest, and most resilient, you’d better take consistently good care of yourself. The best way to be consistently awesome is to be in a consistently good state.

The problem isn’t that life is unfair; it’s your broken idea of fairness.

If competition really didn’t matter, we’d tell struggling children to just give up.
Fortunately, we don’t live in a world where everyone has to kill each other to prosper. The blessing of modern civilisation is there’s abundant opportunities, and enough for us all to get by, even if we don’t compete directly.

I think entrepreneurship is a form of enlightened gambling. Skill and tenacity are big factors, but luck plays a big part. However, as long as you can keep picking yourself up when you get knocked down, try different things and keep learning, the odds are in your favour. You just have to dare to chance them.

Write an unpublished book, you’re nobody. Write Harry Potter and the world wants to know you. Save a life, you’re a small-town hero, but cure cancer and you’re a legend. Unfortunately, the same rule applies to all talents, even unsavoury ones: get naked for one person and you might just make them smile, get naked for fifty million people and you might just be Kim Kardashian.
You may hate this. It may make you sick. Reality doesn’t care. You’re judged by what you have the ability to do, and the volume of people you can impact. If you don’t accept this, then the judgement of the world will seem very unfair indeed.

Most of us get so hung up on how we think the world should work that we can’t see how it does. But facing that reality might just be the key to unlocking your understanding of the world, and with it, all of your potential.

The thing no-one tells you about aiming big is that you pretty much always win.

That doesn’t mean you get what you planned; in fact, that almost never happens. But you almost certainly won’t completely fail, and what successes you have will almost always outweigh your losses.

It’s actually quite simple. The most accomplished people are simply experts at what they choose to do, not how they do it. Spend most of your time on the right things and the rest takes care of itself.

It’s not enough to have great ideas. Lots of people have great ideas. The problem is that too many great ideas cancel each other out.

Some great thought-provoking posts to check out:

How to Find Your Passion
The Problem Isn’t That Life is Unfair, It’s Your Broken Idea of Fairness
If You’re Not Pissing Someone Off, You Probably Aren’t Doing Anything Important
If You Want to Follow Your Dreams, You Have to Say No to All The Alternatives
How to Master Your Life
We’ve All Been Raised By Evil Love Stories

So what do you think about him? Do you agree with his views?
And do you consider him extraordinary?

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How a Classic Car Enthusiast Turned Entrepreneur with a Business Operating in 36 Countries 7

interview claus stig christensen ceo bookaclassic

This is an interview-style post with Claus Stig Christensen.

Q: Hey, Claus. What’s your background and what do you do?

A: I am the CEO of BookAclassican online platform that allows the owners of classic vehicles to rent out their cars, motorcycles, trucks and vans for weddings, events and for use in film and television. I am a classic car owner myself and have a Jaguar MKII. 

I have been self-employed since 1998. I started an import/export company (Cubrix ltd.) where I imported electronic goods from far east and sold it to the supermarket chains (Aldi, Netto, Lidl etc.) and DIY chains across Northern Europe.

While staring up BookAclassic, I realised I had no know-how and knowledge of e-commerce and the mechanisms that drive the internet so I went back to school (Aalborg University) and finished a Bachelor in E-commerce in 2015.

Q: Where did the idea about BookAclassic come from?

A: I was a classic car enthusiast who realised there was a lot of value in my Vespa Sprint that I wasn’t tapping into.

It started when I was a poor student back in 1991. I did not have the money to store my Vespa for the winter so I came up with the idea to offer it as window decoration in fashion shops on the high street.

It took me one hour and I had rented out my Vespa to three shops for the winter. And in return, I got clothing worth about £400 – this sparked the idea that classic vehicles could be a cash cow instead of a money pit!

Q: What can people find on your platform and how does the system work?

 BookAclassic is the go-to source for anyone looking to rent a classic vehicle

A: BookAclassic is the go-to source for anyone looking to rent a classic vehicle and provides an elegant platform for those who want to make a bit of extra cash from a beloved car, bus, motorcycle or other classic vehicles.

We give the owner full control over the bookings they take, whether they’re driving their classic car for a wedding or allowing someone to take the wheel of their vintage bus for a road trip.

The most popular bookings on the site are vehicles for weddings, proms and other events. To facilitate this, we are cooperating with professional owners and car museums, as well as private collectors.

In these instances, the owner has complete control over their vehicle and how it’s driven. There’s also the option to offer your vehicle for events, photo shoots and for use in adverts, television shows and movies. We know how much people love to see their cars on screen, and we’re very happy to make this happen for so many of our customers.

The secure system automates the booking process allowing owners to easily view jobs and accept or decline them. Owners also have control over their profile, available dates and prices.

Q: What dreams can BookAclassic make come true?

A: We want to help private collectors fund maintenance on their vehicles, buy more classics and keep them on the road. As I mentioned before, owners love to see their beloved vehicles on television, in films or used in adverts.

We have one client in Portugal whose Triumph was recently used in a music video. He was over the moon seeing his car be part of that and the money he got from the booking paid for the car’s maintenance too.

Q: What were your biggest challenges when you were just starting out?

A: Everybody said to me an automatic system couldn’t take care of customers needs better than a person on a call – that got me fired up! I wanted to show everyone that I could do it.

I was the only person that believed it could work and it would be the future.

Then I saw the film The Social Network about the start of Facebook and I realised that you just have to think big. The globe is a small place when you are on the net.

I have realised that the limits to what you can do are often in your own head. There is no limit to what you can achieve if you set your mind to it.

Q: How has the business evolved over the years?

A: BookAclassic started in just one country and has grown to serve 36 countries across the world, including the UK. The advanced booking systems allows owners to upload their vehicles for free with the company taking a percentage of confirmed bookings only.

The team are all classic car enthusiasts and we built the platform based on how we’d want to rent out our own classic cars, then developed it with feedback from other vehicle owners. This allowed us to streamline the booking process, ensure peace of mind for everyone involved, and make everything as simple as possible with text and email alerts.

Q: What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

A: I have a few:

  • Build your business on what you love – then work will become a joy.
  • You are never going to be the fastest runner if you follow in others’ footsteps.
  • Find your own niche, make sure you are the best, and always work on offering amazing service.
  • You only fail when you stop trying.