You are not yet ready..and many more statements like that…
You can never do marketing. You do not have the caliber to travel outside India and handle Global Market.
I am indebted to that person who showered me with these gems. Because had he not said these words 17 years back, I would not have vowed to myself that commitment to growth is my goal and stretching my own limits will become my daily habit.
Back in school, I had no inclination to become a doctor. But I did study Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Maths in my Eleventh and Twelfth grade. In the 1990s, either you become a doctor or an engineer. In my school, we did not have the third stream of humanities but we had commerce if somebody wanted to go in the Finance line. It was the general perception that if you are taking up commerce; you are not a bright mind. I would owe this to the limited knowledge, because in Delhi University, SRCC was like one of the top-notch college! I took my science and till date I thank god for saving me from getting flunked. With zero interest in any of the subject which were a part of my science stream, I had become a parrot. There was no time to think and after school, I had back-to-back tuition classes. Complete waste of time and money. Simultaneously, I filled Engineering Entrance Exam for Kurukshetra University. I knew I can never crack through that. My friends had become like a turtle, always in their shell, studying vigorously to get an admission in one of the elite colleges. I do not recall, in what frame of mind, I gave that entrance exam, but what I remember is visiting the campus and getting bowled over by the beauty and freedom which a college provides. Of course, I did not get through, but I had my name in the payment seats. It was against the rules of my house, that we will pay a donation to get an admission and then there I was wondering what I will do. I was sure that I will not be taking up science stream in my Bachelor’s degree. One of my uncle suggested that if you do not want to study medicine or engineering, then take up management. This sounded like a good idea to me. And back in the 1990s, one only needed a bachelor’s degree to appear for the Management Entrance Exams. I enrolled myself in English Literature for my Bachelor’s. What started as a chance encounter with literature has now become a lifelong love. Those three years dedicated to reading and writing were enriching and rewarding, too. I was the 2nd Rank Holder at my college and 7th University Rank Holder in Delhi University. This was indeed a big deal for me as with my dedication, I could create a landmark in that unknown field of study, which I took it up for the first time. Since my studies took most of the time, I took a one year break to prepare for the entrance exam and enrolled myself for IMS, one of the premier coaching academy of that time, to prepare for management exam. I filled close to thirty admission forms across India with a hope that I will be able to bulls eye with at least one of them. It was draining indeed, as with each exam I felt I cannot make it. Taking a break of one year, and spending money on IMS was an enormous deal for my family, because of financial implications. I just had these twelve months to secure an admission and did not have the leverage to extend the break. In a way, this was good. But success eluded me. Rejection slips started flowing in, one after another. I had lost hope. I awaited the results from two colleges, Indraprastha University, which was a newly formed arm of Delhi University and Bharati Vidyapeeth. They way a ray of light comes from the dark clouds, paving the way for sunshine. Similarly, the results from IP university broke the string of rejection calls. I got through it, but also wanted to know what’s in store for me for BVP. The last day when I had to complete the admission formalities for IP university, that day I got the green signal from BVP. But I got admission in Pune campus, not in the one which was close to my house!
In the hindsight it was good, as hostel life taught me amazing life lessons, which I would have never knew had I been staying at home. Ths subject which I had studied during my Master’s were International Business. It was naïve of me to think that studying International Business will give me a direct access to Foreign Travel! Two years of intensive study so that my grades could open the door for an amazing opportunity. I did secure 1st Rank with a distinction, but with no job in my hand. It was ironical.
The struggle to make big in the corporate world started in 2003 and continues till date. I have lost count of the number of interviews which I have given. I have worked in a job where the monthly income was based purely on incentives, and in that job as well where I had to travel to the far off corner of Vasai (Mumbai) to earn my living. When I look back, there are few trends and core lessons worth noting:
• Never shy away from ASKING
• If there are ten people who are determined to pull you down, then there will be at least two people who will push you up
• Never loose hope with your own self, your BELIEF in your CORE should always remain intact
• Keep on experimenting, keep learning. There is no DEFINED age to do something
• Have a life long commitment with GROWTH
I thank my critiques, and their bitter harsh words. Had it not been for that, I would not have come this far.
This is my story, so far. What’s yours? 🛤️