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Hitesh Porwal

Executive Coach | Wealth Coach

31 August2019

Suppose you want to drum up the importance of hard work in your children, and with that thought in mind, you think of taking a few meritorious mentions. What would be the names crowding your head?

Would it be a successful person whom you personally know staying in your locality/city?


Would it be Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mukesh Ambani and a slew of other corporate kingpins?

Chances are, it would be the latter.

By the way, I am in no way undermining the exemplary efforts that these stalwarts have put in or the awe-inspiring success that they have achieved. In some corner of my mind, even I wish my kids to mimic their success, wealth and fame.

That being said, I am also a realist.

Think for a second: what does an almost regular dose of ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ or a ‘Mukesh Ambani’ do to a young mind who has just stepped out of university? You think freshers would be inspired and aspire to become like them, right? After all, they are just the ideal personalities to feature over every dinner table-conversation, day in and day out!

I say, why don’t we take a closer look here. Going by the law of probability, what are the odds of a young entrepreneur ending up like any of the aforementioned top-bracket personalities? Mind you, we are talking about more than 7.5 billion people that inhabit this planet. Statistically, the probability of one hitting blinding success like the stalwarts mentioned above is just…0.0000001%. Not a very bright shot, I’d say.

Ask yourself this: How would I feel if I didn’t reach even remotely close to my end goal? Wouldn’t that be a recipe for disappointment and frustration?


So what do I mean here?

The point I am trying to make here is that somewhere down the line, we might be expecting way too much from every budding entrepreneur who hopes to make it big someday. Worse, we could be misleading them into possibilities that are, in reality, a far cry; a long shot that should perhaps be just an afterthought.

And as a result, we are probably only lending them a morale-crushing blow for when they would be past their prime.

With that thought, I’d like to establish my point: that a repetitive chorus of Mark Zuckerberg and premier entrepreneurs like him has probably ruined more careers than they’ve made.


You ask me WHY?

With names of such gravitas etched in mind from the outset, most entrepreneurs start with wild dreams that often lack proper grounding. They look for that silver bullet that is supposed to take them to the pinnacle of success, without realizing they’ve skipped every critical step in between.

They underestimate - even disregard - the strong foundation that is necessary to build a fortune. They think highly of a great idea, while undermining the hustle required for that idea to finally take shape.

Today, if you type in ‘start-up ideas’ on the web and hit the search button, as many as 1.4 billion results show up in an instant. This proves that there is no dearth of ideas; but a pressing dearth of people who could execute those ideas.


There is more to follow

And the bad news is, nobody seems to be talking about execution, hard work, struggle, or harping on the importance of associations and partnerships, pivoting, timing it right, persistence, and great customer focus. I could go on, but the fact remains: these are little but mumbo-jumbo for a high-octane generation that is us.

Few of you may argue- ‘If my kids shoot for the moon, they at least stand a chance to land on the stars’. From that standpoint, setting lofty expectations might be okay. But remember, these are young minds. They are still learning the ropes. In which case, aiming for the stars might just be a better idea than taking a shot at the moon. You can always upgrade to the moon once you have reached the stars!


 So what is the alternative?

Did you know that you could be the 3rd best leader in your organization and still be among the top 1% elite in your city? Did you know that you could be running a road-side restaurant in a town and still feature among the top 5 wealthy individuals residing in that town? Did you know that the richest person in your locality could be the 65th best textile trader in the country and still super successful and happy? And more importantly, did you know that achieving something like this is more viable than shooting for the moon?

Look around and you’ll find scores of people who are successful and could make inspiring stories for all budding entrepreneurs. Wouldn’t you like to follow their footsteps and learn what they did?

If there is ever a book written on the struggles of these people and how they made it big, wouldn’t it be a more interesting as well as relevant read than cramming what Bill Gates did? Alas, one would never write about a successful and money-making next-door neighbor. After all, that wouldn’t sell, right?


Know how to identify your inspiration

Don’t you think looking up to personalities whom you see every day on your way to the grocery store, be more helpful in crafting your own success? Don’t you think they’re better-abled to teach you a thing or two about success and goodwill, than what a disinterested, half-hearted anecdote about Warren Buffett ever will?

More importantly, these success stories are often set in an environment similar to what you have around yourself today. Similar cultures as well, perhaps. This should give you the ideal context.

The point I am trying to make here is that if these people have been able to leverage their existing environment, wouldn’t commending them be more ideal than dreaming of how to come up with the next Facebook, Tesla, Apple or Windows, for that matter?


Where could we be going wrong?

Mind you, there is nothing wrong in talking about the elites. But no one seems to be interested in the struggle that these have had to put up with, or the risks that they took. The fact remains, we obsess over the kind of lifestyle that billionaire entrepreneurs or businessmen lead; not the pain they underwent to arrive where they are now.


If one took all the wealth in the world and re-distributed it equally among the entire populace, chances are the money would find its way back to the same hands within a matter of years (or may be months, who knows!).


In conclusion

Everybody wants to be successful. But before that, you will have to strive to be that individual who can sustain success, wealth; and not go overboard with the glamour and glitter that is associated with being successful.

Try to touch base with people around you who have been successful in their professional endeavors. Take them out and ask them to share their journey with you over a cup of coffee. Probably you will find your mentor in them.