Most people you’ll see spend time on their business, but on themselves. And you’ll discover today that probably the greatest mistake of your life is not to spend any time on yourself, and spend all of your time on your business. But before I say anything, let me earn the right. Let me tell you a bit about myself…
I have been ambitious all my life. I remember when I first started my first business; I must have been 12 years old and I would go to school, I would buy some pens, put some very funny characters on top of them, superman or Spiderman, and buy them from the wholesale market take them to school and sell them to my friends, and I started making money, so I was taught from a young age by my father, who always told me be self-employed. There’s nothing greater than being self-employed. But we also know that most self-employed people are by-far the most unhappy people in the world. Because they have no at all for themselves, they are not self-employed; they are employed by everybody else. Because when you’re in a job, you’re employed by one person, and when you’re self-employed, you’re employed by everyone. And distinguish the fact that self-employed means you take charge of your business. You take charge of your life.
So, I started business and then I went to school. Didn’t do well at all…I failed my English exam 3 times, I failed my mathematics 3 times, I never did well and it wasn’t because I wasn’t intelligent, I feel I’m intelligent. But I was so scared of taking examinations that I would forget everything. Everything would be freeze. Because I would think to myself…what if I fail repeatedly. And most of you must be aware that…if you focus on something, it will inevitably happen! It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. And whatever you focus on is going to inevitably happen if you think about it too much. So, my thoughts as a teenager, or a young adult were always…what if I fail, what if I get rejected, what if she says no to me, what if people don’t like me, what fi I never make any money, what if I’m stuck in life. These were my primary questions, all day long running in my head. So you can imagine…that anyone with those kind of questions in their head, what kind of confidence level are they going to have. It’s going to be determined by the quality of questions you have! So, anyway, I went to university and graduated. One day, I get a phone call from my brother saying… “Arfeen I started a business.” I asked, “What business?” He said “water filters.” And at that time, the bottle water industry was booming. It cost 1 dollar per litre which was more expensive than petrol. I sold this as an in-house water bottle system. I never sold it as a water filter. So, I would go to a house and demonstrate the system. I’d say try my product for a week if you like it then buy it, if you don’t, then return it back! I used to give them proofs. I used to tell them your water is going to kill you, then I gave them the solution either spend 1 dollar per litre for bottled water or 1 cent per litre with me. I did really well.
I started at 19, by the time I ended I was 21, and if I convert in today’s currency, it was about 10 crores a year. Its good money right, for a 21 year old. So I’m making a lot of money, and I’ve never made money like that before. Before that I was used to making little bit here, little bit there. But then I’ve gone suddenly gone from nothing into making absolute fortune. And I was doing really well. So I looked at the situation and I asked myself what was the difference between 19 and 21? What was different because nothing has really changed on the outside the environment was the same, the country was the same, the president was probably the same. Everything was same, but I changed as a person. I completely changed my thinking. I started hanging around with some incredible go-getters who earned probably about 300 dollars in the same business. So when you start hanging around with good people, what happens? You raise your standards. Or you leave! I’ll tell you something now, you can forget everything else but remember this… Check who you are hanging out with!