Q. How can you know if the career goal you make is the right one for you?

Ans. This is a brilliant question! But remember this – There are no rights or wrongs. Because no matter what career paths you choose, there are some things you will like about it, and some things you will absolutely hate about it! Ideally, if you are passionate about your path, then you’re good. But doesn’t matter what path you undertake, when you are going to work in some company or build your own company, it’s not a rosy picture out there! Some days are going to be very difficult! And it’s fine.

You know, when I used to work in large organizations, there was a time when I used to make 1 million dollars every month. And that would bring a smile on my face. But at that level, nobody appreciates you! They would only tell you when something is not right. For example, when you eat Sambar/Dal, if there is no salt, you immediately say, “Oh! There is no salt in it!”. If there is perfect salt, then you’ll just eat quietly or be busy on your phone or watch TV or read a book or whatever. Similarly in companies out there in the world, when you don’t do something right, that’s when people will talk to you – “You didn’t do this right!”. When everything is going great, nobody will appreciate, or very few will.

So, sometimes I would think, “You know, I am doing so much of work, I am handling this much of budget, delivering, working more than I have to, and nobody here really cares!”. Then, I would tell myself, “Their appreciation is the ‘paycheck’!”. If they’re giving me that kind of money, that means they appreciate my work, otherwise they won’t pay me! 

So, that’s what I mean to say ie. There is no right or wrong. All it comes down to is : Are you committed to your career? If you pick any career path, do you want to make money? or do you want to have fun? You have to decide that! You can’t have both in the beginning! 

If you want to have a lot of fun doing something else, (then) maybe have a good solid career for 10-12 years, make a lot of money, and then retire, and then do things you want to do. That’s, kind of, the path that I took in a way. And believe me, if you’re good at what you do, 10 years is long enough to make a lot of money! That you can then put aside, and put into projects that you fancy, and do things which you want to do. Maybe then you could take up your passion! 

But, if you think – “I am going to make money by clicking pictures, or painting”, you may. You may do that by teaching or something like that. But, you won’t be leading a very comfortable life, unless your parents have already bought a home for you and all the basic comforts, and you just have to pay your bills. If you want to make money, then you have to do something that the world needs. 

And, I will give you a very very good definition of money, if you understand this definition, you can make money in your life, if that’s important to you, I don’t know if that is. Here it is – Money is social debt. Now, that sounded very economics-like, let me simplify it for you. The amount of money that you have in your bank account is directly proportional to the degree of value you have added to the society. If you want to make money, you have to give something to the world that they need. If they need what you’re supplying them, they WILL pay you. Especially in this country (India), it’s so full of opportunities! You can make as much money as you like in India, in this day and age. 

The trouble comes – I meet young people and they don’t want to ‘work’! They just want to ‘earn’. They don’t want to work hard. But, if you are prepared to work hard, you can make money beyond your wildest dreams!

Just an idea out of the blue – Every household for example, they need a plumber, they need an electrician. And it’s such a (big) task to just get a plumber through your door, to get the job done. If you ran a little service, just in your locality, in your little part of your city, and you just tied up with 10 or 20 plumbers and electricians and service people, they’ll supply when you call. There is a business idea! 

The greater the pain you can solve, the more money you can make! If what you are doing is ‘nice’ to have, it’ll be very hard to sell it. If what you are supplying is ‘must’ have, they would pay! Because there is no lack of money in the world, there is plenty of money! What we lack is – People with that tenacity, with that persistence, that “I am going to deliver!”. 

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