Straight from the heart 🙂
I was a topper in school, because my parents and teachers expected it. Study hard and work harder, I was told. I became an engineer because everyone else did ( other than becoming a doctor). Then I did my MBA. Why? You guessed it; everybody else was doing it and getting good post MBA packages too. I got my dream company, worked hard in the toughest of conditions and loved my job. I was the management’s blue eyed boy and was a sure-shot for the Area Manager Position with perks ( air conditioned vehicle for starters :P). You can guess what happened next…If I had become the Area Manager, this website would not exist and I would still be driving an air conditioned vehicle in some part of India, breaking my head with dealers and customers. A 15 minute interview turned me from a blue eyed boy to an invisible boy; I didn’t get a second shot. Never give up, work even harder, my well trained inner voice told me. So earlier if worked like a maniac, and now I worked like a bigger maniac, if that makes any sense. After all, ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. As long as there were monthly targets, and I could meet them, I would always be in demand; heck, I would compel the top management to take notice and rise in the organisation! And along the way, I also gathered up some amazing habits like smoking & drinking; my aspirations in life were to meet the monthly targets, blow smoke rings and drink 15 bottles of beer and stand straight. Of the 3, I only achieved the sales targets. And then it happened !
I was bedridden for 2 months, diagnosed with a double whammy of jaundice and malaria. In fact, I came perilously close to meeting my maker, luckily he/she was not interested. The good part was that I had managed to spend get more family time in the 2 months than I had in the last 10 years, never mind if half the time I was in a near delirium state. However, my company had also lost interest in me, they seemed to have forgotten I existed; I had to check my name on the salary slip ( with 0 salary of course) to check if I was still employed. In the space of a couple of years, I had gone from being a blue eyed boy to a non entity.
This was the first major turning point in my career as I took a decision that I would never allow something like this to happen again in my life, as I took steps to unlearn and rewire.
The change didn’t happen overnight; it took me 15 more years as I moved places in my career and became Country Head of Latin America and SAARC countries leading multinational teams and later heading Quality, Manufacturing and Commercial Operations, leading team sizes of excess of 200. Along the way, I made a lot more mistakes, had some good, great, toxic bosses. I learnt from everyone, but I learnt most from books and life.
As I looked back, if I could ask myself just 2 Questions to my 20 year younger self, they would be
a) Would it possible for you to achieve in 3-5 years, what you did in 25?
b) What if you could find a mentor from Day 1 who could guide you on the right path towards your DREAM CAREER?
In 2017, I heeded my inner call and started pursuing writing and teaching full time ( never imagined in my life I would be doing either :P). I am so grateful, both have given me such immense satisfaction. During my teaching, I have encountered so many students, who are in the same position ( and possibly making similar decisions too) as I was in my 20s.
I have learnt everything the hard way. But not everyone needs to re-invent the wheel and spend 20-25 years years instead of doing it in 3-5 years. And it’s not just about getting a dream company, getting a good boss, about working harder and harder or a great salary. There’s a lot more to having a dream career. And hence my mission: To bring love, life, laugher and mastery into the lives of people. To trigger the Inner leader of students and career professionals and help them lead their Dream Career.