Wednesday, 30 September 2015
In the 1957 DeWitt Clinton High School yearbook, Ralph Lauren wrote "millionaire" as one of his life goals.
On Tuesday, the fashion legend announced he would step down as CEO from his iconic brand Polo Ralph Lauren.
He will stay with the company as its executive chairman and chief creative officer.
Lauren has an estimated net worth of $6 billion.
Long before he became a fashion icon, he was Ralph Lipschitz, the youngest son of Jewish immigrant parents living in the Bronx.
Growing up, he learned to escape his family's poverty by going to the movies and immersing himself in the fictional plot lines.
"He would literally fall into the fantasies of the movies of that era," Michael Gross, author of "Genuine Authentic: The Real Life of Ralph Lauren," told Bloomberg. "He truly did project himself into the scenes in which men like Gary Cooper and Cary Grant were playing. He sees the characters that populate his dreams and visions, and that vision — that ability to step into a fantasy world — Ralph brought to the fashion business."
He further detached from his humble origins in his late teens when he chose to change his name from Lipschitz to Lauren after enduring years of teasing and bullying.
Later, after a short stint in the army, Lauren moved back to New York City and started working as a clerk at Brooks Brothers.
Then a transformative experience — his first polo match — helped to shape his perspective and activate his entrepreneurial spirit. "We were exposed to fabulous things," recalled Warren Helstein, the friend that took him to the polo match. "The silver, the leather, the horses, the tall slinky blondes with the big hats, and the high society that we really weren't knowledgeable of."
The event inspired him to start developing a high-class, elegant brand, which would eventually become Polo Ralph Lauren.
Having only a high school diploma and a few business classes under his belt, the decision to start his own company was the first of many risks Lauren would take in his legendary career.
The next was designing wide, colorful neckties at a time when narrow and plain was the norm.
The radical approach won over Bloomingdale's — and loads of customers. He sold $500,000 worth of ties in one year.
Despite such quick success, Lauren relentlessly expanded his company. "Ralph doesn't sit on his laurels for one minute," Lauren's protégé John Varvatos told Bloomberg. "You can enjoy the moment, but you have to keep things going — and you can't be a one-trick pony."
When it came to new design ideas, Lauren kept it simple. He envisioned clothing that he would want to wear: clothing fit for a movie star.
"What you thought Cary Grant was wearing, you could not walk into a store and buy," he told Charlie Rose in 1993. "The things that I made, you could not buy. You could not find them anywhere."
Lauren took the company public in 1997. It was a decision he grappled with — he was unsure if he wanted shareholders and a board in the picture — but eventually came to terms with. He also ensured he would still control most of the voting power.
The wide-eyed kid who dreamed of becoming a millionaire now, at age 75, enjoys the spoils of his success, with homes in Jamaica, Long Island, Bedford, and Manhattan, as well as a 17,000-acre ranch in Colorado.
He also boasts one of the world's most valuable car collections. "Others collect art, but for me owning a rare and magnificently designed car offers a different kind of experience," hetold Architectural Digest. "In the end you can enjoy both the beauty of the machine and the journey it takes you on."
Lauren shows no sign of losing steam. Despite stepping down as CEO, he has no plans of leaving his namesake company.
"When they start designing things I can't understand, I'll quit," Lauren told The New York Times of his decision. "But I don't feel like I'm stepping back now."
1. Can you afford to take the risk, financially?
2. Do you have a strong support system in place?
3. If you keep getting knocked down (and you will), are you going to keep getting back up for more?
4. Can you remain motivated, even without personal luxuries and conveniences?
5. Do you understand that your work/life balance will be extremely unbalanced in the beginning?
6. Can you envision your success?
: BUKOLA ADEBAYO
Many of us do not think of the health hazards of our jobs. Who can fault us for that? The job market is getting more competitive with fewer spaces.
Many are just grateful for any gainful and profitable opportunity to earn a living. However, a new research by British scientists suggests that the thing to consider when taking up an employment should be the risk it poses to the health of our hearts.
The study reveals that people’s hearts are ageing “faster than their owners” because of the stress and the long hours, they spend at work.
The researchers, from the British National Health Care Service, after surveying 8,000 patients, observed that some occupations involved some lifestyle changes that could predispose them to diabetes and heart diseases.
According to the physicians, workers in industries pioneering health and wellbeing initiatives, such as teaching, medicine and information services had better heart health among their employees compared to those working in transport, property and construction industries.
Consultant cardiologist, Dr. Tosin Akinsanya, says although most people do not think of heart disease as occupational hazard, certain jobs may increase one’s risk of heart attacks and other problems.
According to him, work-related factors — such as sitting stress, irregular work hours, and exposure to certain chemicals or pollution — can also harm one’s heart.
The specialist notes that people who run shift jobs are at risk of suffering from sleep disorders, such as apnea, dementia as well as other neurological and cardiovascular diseases if they continue at those jobs for more than 25 years.
Akinsanya explains, “Rotating shift, a schedule common among doctors, nurses and others, is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Shift work itself may disrupt circadian rhythm, the “body clock” that plays a role in blood sugar, blood pressure, and insulin regulation.
“People in this occupation have to sleep at odd hours, they have to work many shifts. So, it is impossible for their bodies to have an internal clock or sleep pattern. They also have to respond to emergencies. That means they are inactive for many hours and suddenly active for nine hours at a stretch doing surgeries or monitoring patients in a critical condition.
“This kind of work wrecks your physical, mental and emotional health. Because they do not sleep well, it is confusing for the body to know when to use their cholesterol and glucose, which is a factor that can cause heart diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure. They must not stay at these jobs for too long. If they have to, they must be as active as athletes.”
The cardiologist adds that people who work desk jobs that require that they sit for at least six hours every day may suffer cardiovascular disease before they turn 50.
Corroborating this, Dr. Tope Aribisala says sitting for too long has negative effects on the body because it shuts down the metabolic pathways and some major calorie-burning functions in the body.
It also increases one’s risk of being obese.
He states that being obese is a predisposing factor for diseases, such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and sudden death arising from strokes.
Aribisala adds, “Though we have been saying that sitting for too long is not good, many people do not take it seriously. It is simple: when you are sitting, many metabolic processes in your body stop. They take a break till you start moving again.
“When you are sitting in a position for long, the fat in your body does not burn. Again, you gradually build up fat cells that may increase your chance of strokes, diabetes, and even cancer. Anytime the body does not burn calories, fat cells build up.”
The cardiologist, however, notes that jogging or exercising before going to work will not make up for sitting for long at work in the day.
He says, “Many people think because they exercise, they are exempted from this risk. They may be wrong, as sitting for long compromises all the benefits of going to the gym regularly. Even if you jog or work out every morning, if you sit for long at work, you are still at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
“That is why people should not hold desk jobs for more than 20 years, so they can reduce their risk of sudden heart attack, and that is if they spend the next 20 years doing active work and exercises to make up for the time they lost.”
Obviously, you cannot quit your job just because it has odd working hours or unpredictable hazards. But you can work around the challenges that your occupation drops at your table.”
Aribisla also warns that one cannot afford to be a couch potato at work, whatever the nature of one’s job. According to him, one must create time for breaks and stretches.
He advises that taking the stairs at work instead of the elevators and going for 30 minutes’ walk, or simply standing for some minutes while working at one’s computer, will kick up one’s metabolism.
He adds, “If your organisation has a gym, please make use of it. If not, walk around your office building at least three times a week.
“As a nurse or doctor, try to check on your patients in the wards more often. Get moving. You are not only helping your patients, you are helping yourself to stay healthy.”