Be authentic. Be the person you were born to be. Don’t waiver. Don’t get cajoled into wandering off the righteous path in your life journey because of short-term temptations and inducements. Stay on course. Be true to yourself.

You came into this world as a unique original. There was no-one else like you. From your earliest days you had the opportunity to make your footprints, to make your impression, to influence the course of events, to make a difference. You started life as an original. Keep it that way. Don’t reach the end of your days and realize that you’ve become a copy; that you’ve conformed to the status quo; that you’ve followed the crowd and haven’t realized your true potential.

Is that what you are doing? Or are you true to your inner core? Are you steadfast in your convictions? Do you stand up for what you believe in? Or do you allow yourself to be swayed by others, to cave in when someone opposes your beliefs, to give up when seemingly powerful forces conspire against you?

One of the key lessons I’ve learned as I’ve built four hugely-successful companies, beginning in my teenage years, is to believe in myself, and to pursue my dreams with passion twenty-four hours a day.

I know what’s in my heart. I know what I believe. I know my genuine self. I know my authentic character.

You have to be true to yourself if you want to get anywhere in this world. You have to be true to yourself because if you’re not true to yourself how can you be true to others?

I believe that we were all created for a purpose. We are here to contribute to society and for the betterment of our fellow human beings. We’re not expected to be perfect. We all make mistakes. We all make bad decisions. We all sometimes put our trust and faith in the wrong places. But we also have God-given talents and gifts, and strengths, to forge a path towards our true destiny.

So, don’t be afraid to be who you are and let it shine through. Someone once said that the hardest battle you’re ever going to fight is the battle to be just you. Win that battle. Have the courage to be a unique individual and not someone who goes along to get along.

Self-respect is the result of being true to the inner you and always acting in accordance with your fundamental beliefs. Respect the beliefs and opinions of others, of course, but don’t let others make decisions for you. Live a good life, true to your greatest dreams. Being different is a gift, and you should make the most of it. Remember that those who succeed are those who have the courage to make bold decisions.

Know your purpose on this planet and don’t be deterred. Winners never quit—no matter how daunting the obstacles that are thrown in their way. I agree with the great motivational speaker who said, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” As soon as winners achieve one goal, they have their sights set on a new, even greater goal. It’s what winners do.

Being true to yourself means that you don’t follow the crowd. You have your own identity. You carve out your own path. It’s easier to focus when you are comfortable in your own skin and know who you are, no matter what others might think.

Some people just don’t understand why successful entrepreneurs who have enjoyed creative and financial success don’t retire to a sun-soaked island and take it easy for the rest of their lives. That’s because those people are not successful entrepreneurs. They just don’t have that DNA. They don’t have the gene that says, go for it, don’t stop, keep striving to do better and be better. They don’t have the inspiration and the motivation to chart a journey and then have the guts and determination to get there and seize hold of the main prize. Successful entrepreneurs, on the other hand, don’t have that ‘take it easy’ gene. It’s not in their character and never will be.

If you want to be successful, never quit. Never give in. The reason most people don’t achieve their dreams is because they simply give up too soon. They cave in when the going gets really tough. But no-one ever said life was meant to be easy. It’s not. It’s a constant battle. It’s a daily struggle. Life is a rollercoaster ride with extreme highs and lows.

The time when you most need to remain true to yourself is when you are put to the test more than ever before. That’s also the time when you need to persevere and not give way.

And, as the great Sir Winston Churchill put it, “When you are going through hell, keep on going. Never never never give up.”