Stefan Antoni is South Africa’s very own “Howard Roarke” – creatively brilliant, outlandishly bold and prolific. He is today, without doubt, one of the most formidable and most decorated architects that South Africa has produced in recent times. Together with his partners and colleagues at SAOTA, he has continued to stretch the boundaries of creative home design for the most discerning of clients, both locally and internationally. Here is his inspiring interview:
My Definition Of Success | In the beginning, it was getting the right jobs and getting praise. Still getting the right opportunities is important, otherwise, you lose the platform on which you can perform at your best but today I strive more for inner calm, peace and happiness.
I Am Driven By | A fear of failure and the thrill of doing something really exciting. The two are extremes, but both are valuable.
Key Talents I have developed | Being self-critical and honest with myself – acknowledging and identifying my weaknesses and working on them to convert them to my benefit. Being a clear thinker – sometimes taking longer to catch onto something, but once I’ve got it, it forms such a stronger base from which to soar. Being humble- arrogance makes you lose focus. It’s a marathon we’re on with lots of ups and downs – so perseverance.
The Characteristics Of Success | Hard work, clarity of thought, systems to make processes easier and repeating the same just bettering it slightly each time.
Principles I Live By | Honesty, humility but, with determination. I do not give up too easily and will put up a fight. I seek to dare and challenge myself.
How I Use My Mind | By relying on my conscious and my sub-conscious. I often will consider a challenge or a problem and then sleep on it. It is amazing how if you condition your mind, your sub-conscious will carry on processing and even maybe resolve the problem for you.
Lessons I Have Learnt | Acquire good habits in everything you do, think clearly and succinctly. A successful PROCESS is crucial to a successful outcome.
Dealing With Doubt | I’m sure most sensitive and questioning people have fears. I have many. But they also have value, preventing you from being complacent and they challenge you. I suppose they need to be kept in check so as not to overcome the positivity.
Performing At My Peak | I will seldom have much more than a glass of wine during a week night. I can feel immediately the next morning if my brain is slow and that is so frustrating knowing that you are ‘under-functioning’. Also, I need 8 hours sleep most nights otherwise I can feel my brain is sluggish.
Resources I Use To Stay Inspired | Anything and everything. I’m not as social as I could be and prefer avoiding shallow conversation. Interacting with the right people is both stimulating and inspirational and allows you to leapfrog into new ideas. Surround yourself with the right people.
My Future Dreams And Ambitions | To be more balanced, wiser, more knowledgeable and to experience more.
Balancing high performance with happiness and contentment | The journey is often lonely and unpleasant, but the sacrifices are necessary in order to achieve long term success and happiness. You need to get far enough ahead and maintain that position. I’ve seen too many people do well, get complacent and then let it all slip away. It is very difficult to come back after your prime.
The Best Advice I’ve Received | Not the best ever, but a bit of wisdom that has stayed with me, “A wise person does not get into situations that a clever person can get out of”.
Advice On Building Wealth | Get a good education. Find the right company to gain experience and give it your all. If you feel you would achieve more on your own then you have outgrown them so venture out.
On Inspiring Others | You must give ownership. Others must be doing it for themselves, not for you.
I Am Inspired By | Lots of people. Everyone who puts their heart and mind into what they do to make a difference. Some push themselves a bit harder and think smarter or are just more blessed. They are the ones that become more famous. This is sometimes unfair – but life is not fair- so no point in feeling sorry for yourself and playing victim. Outsmart your challenges and get back fighting.
The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | For my kids to be inspired by me. If they are proud as well, that would be great.