“If you work hard just for yourself and to achieve your own goals, you’re not going to be as successful as if you work hard and try to help people achieve their goals.”
-Peter Papadopoulos on having hustle

Having Hustle: An Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon with Peter Papadopoulos

In this episode of Resilience Radio, we explore:

  • How Peter began helping others invest their money.
  • How having hustle = more clients.
  • How and why your kids should have hustle.
  • Peter’s best investing advice.
  • How to find more time for the most important things in your life.

Peter Papadopoulos has been the VP of Investments with CIBC Wood Gundy for 24 years, advising high net worth clients on wealth management and planning. Listen as he and host Kim Ades discuss how having hustle can be the key to your success as an entrepreneur.

Take a Listen!

Transcription (15:50-23:45):


How to Have Hustle

Kim Ades: I personally work with the highly-driven population. I work with high achievers and entrepreneurs and they have hustle too. But do you think you’re just wired differently? Do you think it’s eldest child syndrome? How come you had that and maybe your brothers didn’t so much?

Peter Papadopoulos: Maybe I had more awareness. Coming from a family with not much money, you always want to sort of do better. We’d come home from public school and my brothers would want to watch Three’s Company or cartoons and I’d want to watch CityNews and hear about what’s going on in the world, the major events and/or businesses. Business – that’s sort of what piqued my interest. So just having awareness of surroundings greater than my own.

And when I’d see the ads on TV for cars and stuff, it was simple – that’s what I wanted. I’d ask myself, how are you going to get it? You have to take the first step. What’s the first step? Getting a couple dollars at a time and never thinking about how enormous the task may be. It’s just pedaling. Just like that Chinese proverb, a trip of a thousand miles starts with one step. That philosophy was always wired into me. I had hunger, whether it’d be for food or just the desire to get better or do better.

Kim Ades: Did material items drive you? Did you have goals set out before you started pedaling or counting the pavement?

Peter Papadopoulos: Absolutely. Like sports cars. I’ve always had a good drive. I still recall in Grade 8, finishing class and getting a part-time job at the local banquet hall in addition to the summers at Ford in Grade 9 and throughout the school year. I’d walk from my high school to the banquet hall, I’d start on  Tuesday evenings and I’d be responsible for just cleaning pots and pans, because I was the rookie. I was just finishing Grade 8 going into Grade 9.

The banquet hall would have big banquets on the weekend, we’d have the buffet on Sunday and Monday – on Sunday nights, I guess the food would be put in the fridge. On Monday, the cooks would actually put some stuff away, I guess, that was remaining for the following week, cleaning all the pots and pans and pile them up. So on Tuesday evenings, it was a room that was probably 8 feet wide, 10 feet long, 10 feet high, floor to ceiling of pots and pans. I’d wash them on Tuesday nights.

Kim Ades: By hand?

Peter Papadopoulos: By hand. A lot of grinding. Then we’d go in on Friday at 4 p.m., set up the banquet for that night or for the Saturday. We’d work on Fridays from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m., then I’d go in on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 a.m. again, then Sunday mornings from 10 a.m. until approximately 5 p.m.  Not every Sunday, but most Sundays. I did this throughout Grade 9, 10 and 11. And the only motivation that kept me going was, first of all, I must admit, it was a lot of fun at the banquet hall. You’d have food, you’d have a drink, you’d have music, you’d even have girls.

Kim Ades: There’s that theme again, food.

Peter Papadopoulos: Food, music and girls, right?

Kim Ades: Right.

Peter Papadopoulos: And friends of mine would say, “Hey, where are you on Friday night? You’re missing out. We’re going here.” I’d say “Guys, I know, but I’m having almost just as much fun, maybe, and I’m getting paid for this.” And my goal was to get a car. And by Grade 11, I got my own, first Pontiac Trans Am, took it to school – it was used, and friends of mine would say, “Oh, nice car. Mom and Dad bought it for you?”

I’d take offense to it and have pride and say, “No, I got it myself. For three years and then some, I’ve been plowing away every weekend, and now I got this car.” And I was always motivated by cars, and the next goal was getting a Rolex watch, which I think I got when I was 29.

Kim Ades: Wow.

Peter Papadopoulos: That was another item that I wanted to buy after the car. A car, a watch and food, and I’m good now.


How Your Kids can Have Hustle

Kim Ades: There are a couple of things to note. Number one is, if you are listening to this episode, have your teenagers or your kids listen to it, because you want that kind of hustle, you want your kids to be motivated and you want them to know that if they work and are engaged and maybe roll up their sleeves and wash a few pots and pans, Rolex watches are in their future. So that’s thing number one.

Thing number two is, from my perspective, you know, for years, you were my investment advisor, and you would talk to me about different industries and what’s hot and what’s not. But suddenly, I’m getting to know you on a personal level, and I keep thinking, doesn’t everybody want Peter to be their investment advisor, just given his nature and his hustle?

And so, you look at a person and see how they’re wired, and it’s super exciting. Tell me, you have kids, right?

Peter Papadopoulos: Yes, I do, Kim.

Kim Ades: Are they hustlers like you?

Peter Papadopoulos: Not to that extent. The younger guy is starting to show shades of that. They both have part-time jobs. I shouldn’t say they don’t as much because they’re a little bit more wired to school. That’s one thing, I do have a formal education, a university degree from U of T Commerce and Eco. I was considering doing my law degree, but I was a little bit hungry and didn’t have the finances to continue on with long-term school, whereas my boys do today. And I’ve encouraged them to continue studying and working part-time, and they both do.

Both of them have had jobs at the local Sub shop by our house. They both have worked at the CNE in the building. My younger guy in Grade 9 did it just this past summer, and just to recognize the value of money because they now too recognize how long they have to work to make some money.

And I look at my younger son, Jack, who spends two weeks at the CNE and he goes, “Dad, I’ve never worked so hard in my life.” He made about a thousand dollars and he was so excited about it. He said, “I’ve never worked so hard in my life, but I’ve never had so much fun in my life.” So I think with working hard, not only do you make money, but you build confidence, you build personal confidence or satisfaction, and that’s the first step to wanting to achieve more. I think that’s what work also brings – hustling, if any, for yourself.

Kim Ades: So we’re talking to a parent right now. We have all kinds of people who are listening to this podcast and a lot of them are parents. What advice would you give them about their children?

Peter Papadopoulos: Encourage them to work for themselves. Start local, around the house, maybe doing chores; encourage them to take care of themselves, but also to respect. And one thing I want to emphasize: it doesn’t matter how much work you do or how hard you work – if you don’t communicate with people with a level of respect and respect their time, respect their goals and their objectives, you’re not going to be successful.

So it doesn’t matter how much work I did in my life, I always did it thinking about the other person and what’s in it for them, what’s best for them, and tried to deliver on those goals. Because even if you work hard, if you’re working hard just for yourself to achieve your own personal goals and objectives, I don’t think you’re going to be as successful as if you work hard and try to help people achieve their goals and objectives.

And so the view I have for young people today is just keep working hard, get exposed as much as you can and have an interest. Sometimes, an interest comes from being hungry; I don’t mean literally hungry in the street for food, but just hungry to have the right answer and to work hard for yourself. I’ve always been a fan of doing it myself. I don’t want anyone else behind me. If it’s too easy, I don’t want it.


Do you have hustle?


Are you a high-achiever?


Do you make a lot of sacrifices?


Do you have trouble finding the time for what matters most?


Frame of Mind Coaching™ can help you.


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