Ever wondered what it means to be a go-getter from the very beginning? A young and successful startup founder shares a few success mantras, that he picked up from his mother, with us.
The world isn’t lying when it tells you that life is short and that you should make every moment count. I am in my late 30s, my startup has just received another round of funding and I am being toasted as the “Entrepreneur of the Year”. I couldn’t be more thrilled and humbled. And it has made all my struggles worth it.
There’s nothing extraordinary about me. I’m not a genius nor am I abundantly gifted. But I have always been a go-getter. And that’s thanks to my mom. She always pushed me, from a very young age, to chase my dreams and, more importantly, discover who I was. She led by example and was always someone who created new opportunities and avenues for herself. I always wanted to be like her!
So, when I was about 18, I asked her what her success mantra was. And she shared a few lessons with me. She encouraged me to constantly strive to achieve these life goals before I was 25 and said that it would help me build a more fulfilling life. Turns out, she’s right (like she always has been)! Here are her mantras:
“Experience Something New”
My mom insisted that there would be plenty of time later on in life to stick to my comfort zone. That the 20s were all about putting myself out there. She encouraged me to open up to new experiences because I would never know what I’ll discover. She said that I may have a hidden talent or passion that I haven’t discovered yet (which as it turns out I did). And that I should interact with people, try out new ideas, launch a new venture, or even ask that high-school crush, who I was too nervous to talk to, out on a date.
P.S: The high-school crush is now my wife!
“Build Your Network”
The world today is brimming over with opportunities and it is up to us to cash in, deemed my wise mother. She said that it was important to use every opportunity to connect with the big and small names in my business. And that networking was all about give and take. So, as much as I should grab onto every opportunity, it was also about passing on the opportunities that were not suited for me to someone who was looking out for them.
Never sell your soul, Ma said, but do transform yourself into a marketable entity. She thought that this was an extremely important workplace skill. It was all about beating the competition by showcasing just what I was capable of. Outside of work, she encouraged me to explore social media platforms and other tools that highlight my skills.
“Sharpen Your Skills”
When I realised what my talent was, my mom always pushed me to take it up and explore it further. Like her, at work, I too learned to focus on a key area that brought me the most joy. Like her, I picked the brains of the people who has already made it, read extensively, and gained plenty of hands-on experience. Outside the office, like her, I took up activities that would help me stay on top of my game.
“Find Your Inner Peace”
My mother was a mystic of sorts. She would always say that the older you got, the more you realised that this world only gets more maddening and stressful. As I went through life, she encouraged me to take it in my stride and not lose my cool. For her, it was also important that a person learns to sit by him/herself with nothing but his/her thoughts for company. To achieve this she (and later on I followed suit) took up meditation for at least 20 minutes a day.
“Travel The World”
From the day, I brought home my first salary my mother ensured that I kept aside a part of it for travel. Travelling to new places in your country and around the globe opens you up to new perspectives and experiences, she would say. And through my own travels, I have realised that meeting new people and taking part in new cultures, is an eye-opener. And that can never go out of style!
Saving was a top priority for my mother. She made sure that I took time out to think about my broad goals and necessities and that I start saving for them. Whether you want to buy a house or provide for your parents, in their old age, or be prepared for an untoward accident – all this takes cash in the bank. Deposit a part of your salary in long-term investments so that you don’t have to worry later.
Every time I was stuck in a rut, my mom would be there to tell me not to worry. In your early 20s, a lot of things may seem insurmountable. But they are not (I’ve learnt this by now)! My mom would say that worrying doesn’t get me anywhere. And in fact, it would probably cast a shadow on any dreams that I had. So, stop worrying and chase your dreams.
“Love Is Important”
If you find a partner to love and cherish before you are 25, that’s brilliant! But more importantly, learn to love yourself. Be honest with yourself and learn to accept yourself with all your flaws. You can’t expect for someone else to love with you if you aren’t madly in love with yourself. That’s what my mom always said!
“Become A Coder”
This one is my addition to my mom’s timeless list! Coding has become an important life skill in this digital world. In this technology-driven world, almost every job requires mastering all kinds of software. I am an out-an-out management guy but I realized that when I could understand and break down the code behind my product, life became way easier.