Five Important Life Lessons Learned from Evangelos Marinakis

Evangelos Marinakis is a man many people have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for. He’s a successful businessman with businesses in the shipping and media industries.  He is Chairman of the Capital Maritime & Trading Corp., and owner of Alter Ego Media SA. He owns two successful football clubs, Olympiacos FC and Nottingham Forest FC. On top of all this, he manages to contribute to and support a whole host of philanthropic and charitable causes. He is certainly a man who sets a good example for others to follow in the footsteps of. With this in mind, there are 5 important life lessons here, learned from Evangelos Marinakis:


  1. Always Keep Promises

Evangelos Marinakis promised to help the earthquake victims in Cephalonia, and he made “his statement a reality” by donating 500,000 euros. The Head of the Olympiacos Academy, Grigoris Gerogatos said, “Marinakis is making a large contribution. As a Cephalonian, I am very touched by his actions. He always keeps his promises.” Wherever Marinakis helps, there is always statement after statement that says to the people there, he will help them in any way he can, in addition to his donation.


  1. Be Modest – and Deeds of Goodness will Shine through Naturally

In November 2017, Mandra, Attica was affected by floods, the city was ruined and everything needed to be re-built. As soon as he heard about them Evangelos Marinakis went there to offer help and visit the people there in person. He asked all of his organizations to help contribute financially. He wanted to let the people know that Olympiacos was there to support them. He didn’t just want to say meaningless words, but to prove that actions speak louder than words by starting building 5 major works. The mayor of Mandra, Ms. Kriekouki said to Evangelos Marinakis, “You were the first to help us! The first to step forward and respond to our call. And that’s why we thank you.” Marinakis was keen to emphasize that help would be available to the people of Mandra for as long as needed and stated that Olympiacos was not helping for the publicity or to show off, but simply because they wanted to help.


  1. Set an Example/ Lead by Example


Greece went through an economic crisis and was unable to make its International Monetary Loan payment. An ex-patriot of Greece Peter Nomikos understood that if people all contributed, they may be able to get Greece out of its situation of being in debt. He set up an organization called Greece Debt Free. Evangelos Marinakis is a friend of Peter Nomikos, and he was one of the first sponsors of Greece Debt Free, and the largest contributor. Marinakis paid the equivalent of 55 people, donating 168.590 Euros, which was used to buy a government bond, that cleared 1.5 million of Greek debt! Marinakis said that he “wanted to set an example so as to show that we should all contribute to our country during these difficult times.”


  1. Keep Connected to the Past

When Evangelos Marinakis took over as manager at Nottingham Forest football club, he immediately connected with ex-players at the club; Nottingham Forest fans and ex-players really appreciated this gesture, because it showed that Marinakis valued their loyalty and contribution to the club and that the current players could learn something from them. For fans who enjoyed watching them play, its good to see previous players still involved in the club because they’re viewed as icons. Marinakis shows that he’s connected to the history of Nottingham FC too by organizing celebrations to celebrate the 40th European Cup victories.

It’s not only football history that Evangelos Marinakis keeps alive. He funded a museum on Crete for 10 years dedicated to a Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis; without his help the museum would have closed to financial difficulty and all that culture and history may have been lost. Marinakis has also kept history alive by donating money so that statues of Alexander Ypsilantis could be erected in Athens, and celebrations for the founding of the Filiki Etairia.


  1. The Truth Will Out

Over his life-time, Evangelos Marinakis has been accused of various criminal activities, with no evidence whatsoever, which have been completely fabricated and are untrue. He was accused of match fixing, intimidating referees, he was accused of being the head of some criminal organization and accused of being part of the Noor 1 heroin drug smuggling incident. None of these were true at all. They have all been since completely disproved, and Marinakis does not have any charges or criminal records anywhere in the world. When Marinakis had been under attack from various accusations, he was always 100% sure that he was innocent and had not done anything wrong. Some may have wondered why he didn’t speak out more to protest his innocence, and to refute all the claims and accusations against him. But after the events, Evangelos M. Marinakis had this to say: “The things that I am accused of couldn’t be further from my mentality and the way I operate as a person. They are not only untrue, they are unthinkable.  I do not answer publicly, by choice. Maybe it is a mistake since others speak all the time, but it is not in my philosophy to feed the small-minded vicious cycle of unsubstantiated ‘yellow’ rumors. I prefer justice to take its course no matter how long this will take in Greece.” Marinakis knew that justice would prevail, and he would be proved innocent and the victim of jealousy and corruption. Marinakis was keen to concentrate his energies on things that he had more control over, such as managing Olympiacos FC to the best of his abilities, running his shipping business, media business, and helping Greece to get out of debt!

So, from these 5 lessons in life, to be learned from Evangelos Marinakis, there’s the reminder to not promise anything that you can’t follow through on. There’s the advice of helping because it’s the right thing to do, and not for you to get anything out of it personally, other than pleasure in helping. Do good things, the ask others to do the same too. Learn from the past. Finally, don’t try to change the things you have no control over, but concentrate on the things you do.

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