I found that by being more efficient in both careers, I could advance in both, and enjoy both and how they interact with each other.
George Petrides has built a dual career for himself as both a private equity investor and figurative sculptor. For the past few decades, Petrides pursued his interests in art while developing a successful career in private equity. As an investor himself, he works as a consultant to many leading private equity firms. In recent years he has been spending more time making art.
Born in Athens, Greece, Petrides is inspired by artistic influences of Classical Greek, the later European sculptors who were influenced by it such as Rodin, Maillol and Rosso, and currently working sculptor/painters such as Bhabha, Houseago, Lupertz and Shutte.
Petrides now pursues the two careers in parallel: spending part of every week sculpting from live models and his imagination while making time for private equity. He uses mixed media including clay, metals, epoxies, paints, acids to create pieces ranging in size from a few inches to over two feet high. Collectors and critics have described his figurative sculptures as “beautiful”, “emotive”, and “lifelike” and unique to most figurative sculpture they have seen before.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
For a few decades I have pursued my interests in art while developing a successful career in private equity, as an investor myself and as a consultant to leading private equity firms. In recent years I have been spending more time making art, and I now work at the two careers in parallel, spending some part of every week sculpting from live models and my imagination with pieces ranging in size from a few inches to over two feet high.
I decided that “dual careers” was more interesting to me than doing just one now, and “retiring” to a second later. I found that by being more efficient in both careers that I could advance in both, and enjoy both and how they interact with each other. The “downside” is that I’m busy all the time, but since I’m having so much fun with them both, it doesn’t feel like a burden.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Planning each week in advance, some days are “business days” – where I stay at my desk or have business meetings – and other days are “studio days” – where I will be in my studio working by myself or have a model coming in. In both cases, I use part-time assistants, as many as four at present, to get work done and out the door.
How do you bring ideas to life?
In both business and art, I increasingly rely on my intuition and perception and less on thinking and what others would do. I feel being in that place gives me a better chance at being successful – at producing something others consider valuable, whether a business idea or a sculpture.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Well, If I see others pursuing “dual careers” I would find that exciting!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Two related habits: Delegating everything that can be delegated (right now I have four part-time assistants) and… deleting from my “to do” list anything that i can delete without dire consequences.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Trust your instinct and intuition (more than your rational mind and what others advise) for choosing the right career and for choosing the people that you will keep close.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Again, the area and idea of dual careers. Others often think that I can’t get as far at both as I might if I committed exclusively into one and spent every minute at that. There is the temptation to think of me as a dilettante rather than someone who pushes hard at two careers at the same time. Each career benefits from one another in a sort of symbiotic dynamic.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I am a believer in meditation! I have practiced it off and on since my teens, and in recent years I find that the Transcendental Meditation method works best for me. I make space for meditation and practice twice a day. I have rarely missed a session in years and have gone on six meditation retreats. David Lynch and Ray Dalio, two of the most successful people in the news, both practice it and give it credit for their business and personal successes.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Question what is it that must be done to achieve success. Begin with defining success in each career. Then design the week to pursue that achievement. With each hour, or each person I might interact with, I ask myself is this time well spent?
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Oh, many failures! No doubt I sulked and felt beaten down, but after giving it some time to process, I always reset to where I was before, though wiser in many ways.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
What is the one thing you have wanted to do for a while? Can you integrate it into your life? If it’s a business, great, if it’s not a business, will it inform your business and make it more successful?
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Hired an assistant! I have them come to my studio and help with the repetitive tasks like sanding so I may go work on new sculpture pieces!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
– More than daily quotes, it includes exercises, podcasts, and other aids to stay on the Stoic path.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter.
What is your favorite quote?
Just about any quote from Winston Churchill.
- Rely on and trust your intuition!
- Explore the idea of dual careers!
- Delegate is areas that you can, and hire the experts.
- Meditate in order to visualize your own path to success.