Vinod Gupta Shares Advice on How to Succeed in the Modern World
Fortune Favors the Bold
We’ve all heard some amazing success stories. Seemingly overnight, people can go from zeroes to heroes in the eyes of others. But here’s the thing about those overnight success stories — they rarely actually happen that quickly. They’re the result of good old-fashioned hard work, even if it appears to be an overnight success.
Take my own success story, for example. There was definitely nothing overnight about it! It was years in the making and it required an enormous amount of hard work, dedication, and the unshakable belief I had in my own ideas and ability.
If you’re trying to reach the next level of success in your life, I have some tips that have served me well over the past several decades.
Take Some Chances
Being from a small village in India that didn’t have electricity, cars, or running water, it would have been easy for me to make a million excuses as to why I shouldn’t attend the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in the U.S. when I was accepted.
Although by then I had spread my wings a bit by attending IIT Kharagpur, America was still a much bigger step than that. I was leaving behind my family, venturing out with barely a dollar in my pocket, and taking on an unfamiliar culture too. I had a lot of reasons to back down, but I didn’t. It was a big opportunity for me so I seized it.
Always remember that fortune favors the bold and make sure to act accordingly. Incorporate a little risk into your life and you’ll see that it can pay off big time.
My life would be dramatically different right now if I hadn’t embraced the risk that came my way. If I had been too scared to seize my opportunities, I would still probably be in my small village by now.
Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. We can feel overwhelmed instead of remembering how strong and capable we really are. Once in a while it’s okay to realize you need to slow down a bit, but sometimes when your plate is full the best thing you can do is suck it up and add a little more to it.
When I worked at Commodore Corp and I saw how many inaccurate mobile home dealer business directories were out there and I wanted to make a complete one, I didn’t fully understand what I was getting into at first. But once all 4,800 yellow books arrived at my office, I could have easily backed down and said my plate was too full to take on a project of that magnitude.
Instead, I buckled down and got to work. I used my time off from work, after putting in a long day in the office, to create an up-to-date, thorough list. I then bargained with my boss to let me sell it to others if I gave it to him for free. Shortly thereafter, I earned more money from that single project than I had seen at one time before. The only thing that got me to that point is that I convinced myself I could do it, so I did.
Those who are most successful are the ones continually questioning their limits and even what they consider success to be. After reaching a goal it can be easy to sit back and think you’ve reached the top — that you’ll never be able to beat that moment or that achievement. But at this point, it’s smart to redefine what you once believed success would be. Maybe you’ll find there’s more you want to accomplish — something harder and bigger. Some people are happiest when they’re constantly pursuing a goal, so it pays to do some inner reflection.
Or maybe you’ll realize your business efforts don’t mean as much to you as they once did. And in that case, it’s perfectly okay to realize that success now to you means creating goals outside of the work realm. Keep reflecting upon who you are and what you now consider success to mean.
In order to be and truly feel successful, I feel as if you need to have a generosity of spirit. Give a helping hand to others who need it. One of my favorite charitable endeavors is investing in education. In my mind, those are investments that will continually pay off for generations.
Not only does it give me the chance to help the person who is receiving the educational opportunity, but investing in education can potentially change the future course of the world.
Make Your Loved Ones a Priority
At the end of the day, the people you surround yourself with and hold dear are your greatest treasures. They are the true successes in your life, even more than the work goals you’ve accomplished and the money you’ve made.
Life is truly so much sweeter when you have love in your life. I’ve been fortunate to have the love of my family and they know they are always the most important priority to me. In the day-to-day crush of a heavy work schedule, it can be hard to find bonding time with those closest to you, but it’s crucial that you do so.
Follow Your Bliss
The true key to being successful is to be happy. Have you ever met a happy person who hasn’t felt successful in their own way?
To be happy, you have to identify what makes you glow, what you find yourself thinking about doing during your off hours.
My own passion is doing charitable works. While some may count money as one of their key ingredients of happiness, to me, money is best spent when it is used to do good or make someone else happy. So while it is an important necessity in life, I’m also happy to share what I have and glad to know I’m putting the gift of education out there in the world to benefit us all.