Jim Crowley admits to a stubborn streak but it served him well in switching from riding over jumps to the flat despite "nine out of 10 people" warning him he would not make it.
The wisdom of the 42-year-old Englishman's call 16 years ago is plain to see as he was offered the prime job of first choice jockey to Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum in 2016.
That gilt-lined job offer came after he was crowned champion jockey that year.
He rode 46 winners in a month that season, breaking the long-standing record of 45 held by legends Gordon Richards and Fred Archer, and now is just seven shy of reaching 2000 career wins.
He hopes that one of those who helps him get to that mark will be the great sprinter Battaash who bids for back-to-back wins in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York on Friday.
Battaash has the festival to himself in terms of superstar status with the other two great horses presently in training, Enable and Stradivarius, resting.
Crowley has formed as strong a bond with Battaash as Frankie Dettori has with Enable and Stradivarius -- but it could all have been very different had he been more open to advice.
"Guy Harwood (former top flat trainer best known for 1986 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe champion Dancing Brave) is my father-in-law and he put the idea in my head," Crowley told AFP by phone on Wednesday.
"Also I was quite small for a jump jockey and I was gradually getting more rides on the flat.
"Nine of out 10 said you won't make it but I had a little bit of a 'Up yours' attitude.
"I thought what have I got to lose.
"Also I had one eye on training in the future and I thought it would be valuable experience to learn."
Crowley concedes the "camaraderie of the jumps jockey weighing room" is better.
"At the time I thought flat racing is for sissies," said Crowley, whose natural instinct was to ride over jumps with his parents training point to pointers.
However, given the passage of time his opinion has changed markedly.
"Now I am washing in different water!" he says laughing.
- 'A wild side' -
Crowley experienced first hand how dangerous flat racing is when he came down in a race in Kempton shortly after he had been confirmed as champion jockey.
Fortunately he eventually emerged unscathed -- fellow jockey Freddy Tylicki was less fortunate in being paralysed from the waist down.
"Kempton was very nasty and I was very lucky to get up and walk away from it," said Crowley.
"It is not easy to come through something like this and can leave you scarred mentally.
"In jumps you are used to falls, you expect it.
"However the falls on the flat are worse than the jumps."
Being a naturally positive person has helped Crowley but he says he has had to modify his riding habits.
"I am ultra-competitive and if I could I would ride in every single race but riding some of the best horses in the world you have to use your head a little bit more," he said.
"For instance you would not be riding the 2120 at Wolverhampton if you have a big ride the next day."
Thus there will be no late night rides on Thursday on the eve of the Nunthorpe with Battaash.
He comes to York on the back of at last winning at Royal Ascot and breaking his own track record in the King George Stakes at Goodwood.
"I have a bond with Battaash he is a wonderful horse," said Crowley.
"He is beatable he has his off days but he has to be one of the best sprinters of modern times.
"He used to have a wild side maybe that is why he strikes a chord with the public.
"It is nice to think that when eventually I retire I can say I rode him...he's a bit special."