Win or Learn, No Such Thing as Lose! by Amit Chauhan
I am from a small town in Haryana called Pillu Khera Mandi. A small village where the people are multilingual (Hindi, Punjabi, Haryanvi, and English), it is a place that does not stand out on any map. My family was never rich, but I remember the elation that our family experienced because of my pitaji’s hard work. You see, my Dadaji was a labourer, but he supported my father in his endeavors to study and set up a small shop simultaneously. My father was successful in this and grew from a small shop to a big business that sold everything that one could imagine in my small town. Rather than be content with this growth, my father took a big risk and changed his line of business and saw success in that too. Eventually, we became richer than our relatives. Seeing the hard work and risk that my father took to reach this stage, my outlook on life, success, and the route with which to reach that had changed. I always looked up to rich and famous men, and that became my definition of success.
When asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, my friends listed doctors, lawyers, or pilots, the stereotypical success careers. I was the only one amongst my peers who wanted to be a businessman. Since the time I was in school, I searched for online and part-time business prospects every chance I got. Summer and winter vacations, which my friends used to spend time relaxing and playing, were for me spent in either trying to learn business or look for job opportunities in my surroundings. I was always a leader amongst my peers, and I spoke on behalf of my classmates to parents or teachers, a couple of times even to the principal!
When I was in college, I juggled my studies with a part-time job in insurance, through which I met a friend who was managing a franchise. I got the opportunity to manage a team of twenty people there. Maybe he took the word “friend” a bit too seriously, for he did not pay me for the three months that I worked for him. Rather than fight him for the money, I decided to use the skills and knowledge that I earned there to begin a similar business myself. Unfortunately, that turned into a bust. But that did not deter me. As my idol Richard Branson says, “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again!” I decided to go back to college in the evenings and use the first half of my days to work part-time in real estate. Not to brag, but I also did the exciting and dynamic door-to-door marketing.
One incident that happened while I was in college was the turning point of my life. Sadly, my father’s business was taking a hit. At that time, in an unfortunate series of events, my laptop was stolen. My world was crushed! Here I was, trying my very best to burden my parents financially as little as possible… But the truth was that the money I had made from my part-time stints was not enough to buy myself a new laptop. What to do? I was determined not to trouble my father for this, and being the stubborn risk taker I was, I made a resolution to myself to buy myself a laptop with my own hard-earned money. In this mood, I managed to keep the matter of the stolen laptop from my parents, and I landed a full-time job which I used to financially aid my replacement laptop.
I had a friend who had some contacts with a healthcare company that was developing its healthcare chain in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Using my interest in the field of marketing, I landed myself a job with them as Marketing Communications for Villages. My role was to organize free medical camps in villages, which was a job that gave me great moral satisfaction. Eventually, I rose through the ranks and became the manager of 5 of the healthcare centers!
Being just like my father, I decided that I would rather move to other opportunities and learn new things than be content with what I currently have. I moved to Chandigarh where I learnt SEO AND SEM. I landed a job as a freelancer with an E-commerce client and started working full-time for him. Being the big-time risk-taker that I always am, I proposed that we reverse roles and he invests in my business. Having worked with me and seeing my potential and ability, he agreed, and I got the opportunity to restart my business. 7 years later, he is still my major investor and supporter, and I have since grown and now have expanded to several businesses.