Krav Maga learning interpretation 6

Pic @pravinshekar : Vendor in Chandni Chowk, Delhi, India


This is the sixth in the series of alternative learning from Krav Maga.

He had a spark. There was something about him that drew attention. Immediately.

10% Chottu.
This is his story!

My favourite past time is sitting on the balcony and watching the happenings on the road. I have lived in this apartment for the last 50 years. Ever since I came into this house as a new bride, sitting on the balcony has been therapeutic. Call it my meditation.

It was twenty years ago when I noticed Chottu, sitting by himself on the pavement. All he had on was a pair of shorts, clearly handed down. It was too large for him. The shorts were held together by twine, used as a belt. No shirt, unkempt hair, dirty smudges on body from sleeping on the pavement every night!! That was my first impression of Chottu. His eyes spoke. There was something about him.

He set up a tarpaulin shed right on the pavement. Those days, nobody seemed to mind. There were no protests, rallies for eviction. Everyone went about their ways! Soon he brought his mother and little brother under the tent. They were immigrants to the city. I don’t know more than that. My remit remained in observing, not speaking, or doing anything! Chottu and I had our way of communicating. He smiled, and I smiled back. The first thing he did every morning was look up, smile, and join his hands in a namaste, greeting me! I smiled and nodded. Every time something good or exciting happened, Chottu would be there on the road in front of my balcony, showing off to me.

I remember the first time he got a new shirt for Diwali. A bright yellow shirt, worn over his oversized shorts. He was standing, looking at me, as if for a validation. I smiled and gave him a thumbs up, and he went away, hopping and running!

Chottu started doing odd jobs for the shops and people living on the street. In his “unprofessional” avatar, I was surprised how people were giving him some work. I asked around and found out what Chottu was up to.

He sat on his spot and noticed who was doing what for people on the street. He noticed which work had a greater volume or frequency. He then went up to the person and said that he can do the same work, at 10% of what they are paying now! 10% of the cost! That was such a low amount that people could jump over his appearance-barrier and try him out. Whatever the job, Chottu did it to perfection, and then some more. Always some more, that little bit more. I say that he added a bit of himself to every job he did.

Word spread in the street, and he was named 10% Chottu. Soon, Chottu was busy morning to night. From delivering milk and newspaper to getting groceries, cleaning scooters and cars, dropping smaller kids at school. Helping with housework, including cutting vegetables! At breakfast and dinner time, Chottu helped out at two small roadside eateries, taking orders, delivering food, and cooking! This job also took care of the food needs of his family. In time, the 10% rate increased to 50%!

Little by little, Chottu made himself indispensable on the street. This included playing cricket on the road with the apartment boys and advising as a coach to the younger players!

That could not save him or his family when the road was being expanded. Their tent-home of the last few years was removed. They were homeless once more. What a story arc, from nothing to something to nothing much once again. Not quite!

When you’ve lived with only one goal and worked on providing solutions for people’s problems consistently, you build goodwill. That is what Chottu did.

Through his odd jobs and I” internship,” Chottu had learned cooking and the nuances of running a roadside shop. He approached a few of his regular customers and asked for help to set up a revenue stream for him. His customers suggested he set up a food shop and also gave him some money as initial investment. It was a loan, but they all knew the money will be returned.

Chottu rounded up three more homeless kids and set up his food stall along with his brother. Roadside. Simple. Economical. Tasty. He sent a few samples to my house. He knew I was wheelchair-bound and had hardly stepped out of the house for the last ten years.

The 10% Chottu had become a 100% small entrepreneur and continued to grow.

Chottu, contented and straightforward but with a fierce will. The will to add value and build his own tribe of happy clients.

The will to survive, and succeed.


Krav Maga lesson that served as the core for this note:

The most critical mindset is the will to survive, the will to win.

When stuck in a difficult situation, this mindset will get you out of the issue at hand.

In marketing and business, when stuck, it is the survival mindset that is most important.

Survive now, to succeed later.

This note is not a grim message but a practical one. How many times have we faced near-certain defeat, in sport, business, or our career?

What seems impossible passes on!

Sometimes, we do it because of internal strength. Sometimes because of the friends, family, and mentors who help us navigate the difficult phases.

What remains paramount is the will to survive.

The mindset to win against all the odds!

This is the sixth in the series of learning from Krav Maga.

  1. A fully extended arm is useless
  2. Find the weak spot
  3. Violence: Avoid it as much as possible!
  4. You many not have started the fight, BUT
  5. The meditating monk

Pravin Shekar is an outlier marketer, parallel entrepreneur and a raconteur.

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Pravin is the author of seven books: Devil Does Care, Marketing lessons from Mythology, Getting paid to speak, a Virtual Summit Playbook, Climb your way out of hell & a collection of travel pics/romantic poems, and stories from the heart!

#Marketing #Entrepreneur #Awareness #Strategy #Outlier #Outliermarketing #micromarketer #idea #tribe #Books #krux108 #PravinShekar #OutlierPravin



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