An interview about “The Three Things” with thought leader and IWC brand ambassador, Abraxas Higgins.
No wonder Abraxas has become a social audio sensation over night: he is smart, contemplative, cosmopolitan, witty, and blessed with a soothing voice that allows you to relax instantly. You can talk with him for hours - about anything and everything. The IWC Journal spoke with him about lion’s heads, Kyoto izakayas, rainy London summers, and the power of voice and mentoring.
As a student, Abraxas never liked spending money to go out on the weekends. Rather, he would save it for his travels. He studied computer science and Japanese at Kingston University, London. As he sought to be financially independent, the London native started working in asset management right after his studies. First in London and then New York City. Long working hours, a peculiar boy’s club attitude, and idle water cooler chat – soon he realised that he was not made for this kind of life. One day, he asked a superior if it will eventually get easier. “Easier? No!” the superior said. “It will get harder!” That was the moment Abraxas realised that he had a different destiny.
The IWC JOURNAL asked Abraxas about:
“THE THREE THINGS”…
…you miss about working in asset management.
I miss absolutely nothing. I don’t miss:
1. The 3-hour-long meetings where one single person talks about issues that you’re not interested in.
2. The idle water cooler chat and the fake energy.
3. The Sunday night blues. That feeling you have when you know the next day you have to go to a job you don’t truly enjoy.
…that a thought leader does.
1. He uses narrative to influence - as opposed to using written text or images.
2. He creates friendly spaces for conversation where everybody can be heard. There’s so much beauty in conversation.
3. He initiates ideas and pushes them to the forefront of an audience where these thoughts can be discussed and mentally dissected.
a. Abraxas in his home town London
b. Sporting the Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Edition “Mojave Desert” Ref. IW506003
…you enjoy doing in your favorite places.
1. I love being at home in London! I love how multicultural and accepting the city is; how we all talk about the bad weather; and that we are far too polite. I admire the incredibly old yet beautiful buildings and architecture: lions heads mounted into walls, columns and pillars outside of buildings that have survived two world wars. You just need to stop and take in the beauty.
2. Eating at some of the amazing restaurants in New York. You quickly realise why there are so many amazing restaurants: because the rent is so high. If you have a bad restaurant, it will be gone in less than a year. It has to be great from the get-go.
3. One of my favorite places in the world is Kyoto, Japan. I love going to traditional style Izakayas (casual drinking establishments similar to a tapas bar) and having a good conversation with the ojisan or obasan who are serving the food.
…that have inspired YOU TO GO in the right direction.
1. Leaving my parents to live on the West Coast of Canada when I was 18. I was on an athletics scholarship and it made me learn way more about myself than before. It was the first time I had my beliefs challenged from a geographic standpoint.
2. Going to university made me realise that I had the ability to succeed academically. Prior to that, I didn’t have much academic success. So, university was the first place where I took academia more seriously and knew that I could do it.
3. Mentoring – because it made me think about how I can help others. One kid I mentored, Reggie Nelson, came from one of the poorer boroughs of London and started knocking on doors of wealthy people asking for life advise. I thought this kid is a brilliant individual who just needs a chance. And I was right. He is now on a path to be a huge success within asset management and a social mobility advocate. It is quite a journey to watch your mentee grow.
…you learned from your past 12 months in social audio.
1. I learned that the voice is extremely powerful and reveals a layer of vulnerability. I find it easy to tell when someone is lying on social audio. Also, it’s easy to find out if someone is emotionally triggered, if something makes them sad, happy, or angry. Even if they try to hide it: a voice shows a lot more than I thought.
2. People who are brilliant in other social media applications may not have the same level of success in social audio. To be good on social audio, it requires a good amount of lexical ability, humour and compassion to be able to garner an audience.
3. Talking in front of 8000 people is much less scary than I thought it would be.
…you look out for in a mechanical watch.
1. I love a big dial. I’m quite tall (6’5 feet), so wearing a small watch can look miniscule on my body. My Big Pilot’s Watch is so well-crafted. It hits a sweet spot because I know it’s crafted out of necessity. And it always reminds me when it’s time to go, time to start your day, time to get things going.
2. Legibility. I have to be able to tell at a glance what time it is. And I like a round dial that serves its function.
3. I like a pronounced bezel and neat, ergonomic lugs. I want my watch to fit nicely on my wrist.
…you would advise the 12-year-old you.
1. Continue to be curious and live your truth! Don’t worry about what anybody else has to say. Don’t stick to the rules – none of the good people do. It’s when you break the rules where you find the beauty and the magic.
2. It’s going to be ok! It really is. There’s going to be ups and downs but ultimately, it’s going to be ok.
3. Be present and be willing to change. I went from being a high school drop-out, to pursuing athletics, going to university, working in finance, moving to L.A. for a start-up, to right now being a thought-leader.
You are allowed to change.
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