If I were 22; the most important thing I would learn is humility

At 22 in the early 1980’s I considered myself to be a successful business man back in India. I started my first business soon after finishing high school, manufacturing packaging materials for exporters of hand tools and sports goods.

This gave me a good exposure to export market and I decided to take leap of faith to start my own export/ import company in 1981 which flourished and I operated it very successfully up to 1988. My job in exports and imports required me to travel at least 80% of the time which was not sustainable because of my recent marriage so shifted gears and decided to do something domestic and local.

During next few years I did various projects and business adventures some of which were very successful and some horrible mistakes. I lived in Bombay, Delhi and Dubai before coming to Canada in 1995. I did all my formal education in Canada starting at the age of 40 while supporting my family; my wife and 2 children. I have been fortunate to have a very supportive wife who stood besides me emotionally and spiritually during my low times.

Looking back #IfIWere22 and if I had a chance to start all over again, I would finish my college degree first, work for somebody for minimum of 2 to 3 years to gain practical experience and focus my energy on self development and learning everything about money and finance. I would also have few mentors and business coaches along the way to guide me and support me in my journey. Few big changes I would make in me; kill my ego, learn to be a humble and listen more.

Early education provides you the knowledge which otherwise you have to learn the hard way, taking long time and costing much more. Working for somebody provides you the opportunity to learn humility and people skills which are so important to succeed in any business. Self learning, seminars, workshops, reading articles and books help you learn wide variety of perspectives and new theories. And self development provides you knowledge and experience of others by analyzing mistakes made by others. Mentors and coaches help you and support you refine and improve your own thinking and provide you the emotional support to make wiser decisions.

In today’s fast changing business world one has to learn how to survive and thrive in the environment of constant change. Every new innovation while seemingly a threat to the status quo also brings an opportunity wrapped with it. You have to be ready to embrace the opportunity and make the best of it by matching it to your strengths. Also you have to remember that every adversity brings with it an equal or greater gift.

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