Hi, and welcome to the Peace of Persistence, the show where we seek to uncover the keys to happiness and success, one honest conversation at a time. I'm your host, Abigail Wright, and today we get to talk with my old friend, Wempy Dyocta Koto! Wempy. I met Wempy, who was beginning his entrepreneurial journey in 2009. Today, he's primarily in investing, and we're finding out what he's doing as I'm catching up with him today!
Join us and subscribe at Patreon to hear the extended version (for all our guests!), and hear how Wempy's parents intuitively molded him into the man he is today, the benefits of martial arts and training physically, the art of true charity, and how to leave a real legacy in life with your family.
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We first met almost a decade in NYC, and I haven't seen you in person since we last caught up in London back in 2012. How has life changed for you during that time on your journey?
Wempy describes his life as going through abrupt changes every 4-5 years, often involving moving from place to place, for example, from Singapore to London. He says there are no small evolutions in his life - it's either an abrupt change, or no change at all. When were first met, in 2009, Wempy was living in the States in New York and San Francisco, and then he moved home a bit with his family in London. After that, he decided to move to Jakarta in Indonesia and says nothing in his life is ever permanent. In that short time, he's gone from being an employee of a corporation, to being an entrepreneur in consulting, which he eventually evolved into doing mostly investing.
Are you still working with the company you founded, Wardour and Oxford?
Absolutely. He says that's where he does a lot of his "brain work." He does still work with governments, large, multinational companies, and rising and emerging companies on the consultancy side. He realized that consultancy doesn't scale quickly and decided to instead invest his money into companies that were scaling. He gives the analogy of being the chip inside of the computer that provides the financial support, advice, mentorship, and guidance to help evolve their companies. He doesn't enjoy the daily grind and wants to be where his ideas are needed, so that's where he spends a lot of his passion and therefore, a lot of his time.
I read an interview you posted on Linkedin with Suzanne Kaplan, where you said, "Our time on earth is not negotiable," referring to your business and the fact that you love your work, clients, and partners. What are some of the most important things you do to make every moment count in your life?
He says whether you believe in a supreme being or not, when your time is up, your time is up and not negotiable. He simply tries to live every second in the moment. He believes that the happiest people live with a conscious sense of living on purpose, with gratitude for yesterday and purpose for today and tomorrow. "Here I am. I am alive. This is what I'm grateful for for yesterday, this is what I'm living for today, and this is what I shall live for tomorrow." He also believes great people's plans revolve around what they're doing for others.
What do you think are the most important qualities to develop as a leader?
Listening. Not about listening to reply, but listening to understand and enact and then, afterwards, developing strategies or plans?
Clearly, listening to others' perspectives is important to you. How much is travel a part of that for you, has travel always been a priority for you, and how has it enhanced your life?
It's always been a priority. Wempy says he'd rather die and have traveled a lot than to die with a double story house and two cars in the garage. He talks about how "first world problems" are really different, and how when you see how the rest of the world lives, it's much harder to take everything for granted.
Wempy goes on to talk about family. He believes he'll regret not having more time to see his parents, on his deathbed. He feels that he's missed out on a lot of their lives and their growth as people, and that as they get older, he's chasing time to find ways to see them more often. It's the biggest downside, he feels, to being an independent spirit abroad. He's currently looking into moving back to Sydney or London to be closer to them.
Do you have any other habits or traits that contribute to your happiness and success?
Having self-awareness. Wempy discusses the importance of knowing yourself as a person, your possibilities, and your limitations. His self-awareness has increased a lot over the years, and it's also allowed him to have more empathy for other people. He also doesn't speak before he thinks. He's definitely not one of those people who tweets before they think and causes problems because of it; rather, he considers the impact of what he does before doing it.
Do you have any other advice for us?
"Look down." Although he believes it's great to surround yourself with great people to try to elevate your own life, he gives the advice to, every once in a while, look down. To be clear - he doesn't mean it in a derogatory way, or to suggest that you could measure someone through material wealth, good looks, ability, disability, or anything like that. That said, he says we as humans judge and know what looking down means. For example, if you're feeling like you don't have very much money right now, rather than looking up at them, look at people who don't have what you have - who don't have Skype, or electricity, or food on their plate. People who don't have arts and culture even in their pipe dream. Wempy's also grateful to not be at the top, and talks about the kind of problems someone like Mark Zuckerberg might have, about which we could know nothing. So be thankful to not be Bill Gates, but also be thankful to not be trafficked right now.
Wempy feels fortunate that in his travels, it's not something he can ignore. Although there's homelessness in London, New York, etc., it's not as prevalent as it is in Asia, or other parts of the world. "As part of our commitment to improve by looking up, our commitment to improve should also include looking down."
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