Wish you all a happy and prosperous new year!!

First weekend of new year was engaging. I was a part of Entrepreneurship Awareness Camp scheduled for 3 days. Jan 3-5. 2 days 8 sessions, of which few were conceptual discussions and rest had successful entrepreneurs sharing their journey. Last day, Jan 5, had team events. One of the sessions was on Enterprise Creation. During his course of action, speaker, Dr. N.Vivek shared his experience of assisting world famous and accomplished American entrepreneur, Jeff Hoffman, during his visit to PSG Institute of Management. He narrated a story which was told by Jeff himself to the management students. A leaf from the tale of his own life. I want to share it with you since it has a simple but important lesson to take away.

So, before turning into an entrepreneur, Jeff was a successful employee of a topnotch company. One fine day, he woke up with the thought of resigning his job to start a business venture. He met his manager to hand over the letter officially. Seems manager wasn’t prepared for that and said,” I know you well enough and I think you’ve made a wrong decision. Let me tell you three reasons why you will be, as a business man, a failure.

  • You’re impatient. You don’t wait until a job is completely over. More like jumping the gun.
  • You’re not focused. You want to do many jobs at the same time. Had you been so, you wouldn’t have thought about business when you have a job at hand already.
  • You’ve no respect for senior officials. You’re not ready to listen what I have to tell you. Hell-bent on resigning.

Even after this if you’re stubborn, mind you, you can’t come back to me asking for job.”

Aren’t these enough to knock you down and drain you of all positivity? His outright remarks made Jeff have second thoughts. He went back home badly wanting to get things out of his mind. To avoid such difficult situations, the best solution is to either watch TV or sleep over it. He chose TV and a sports show he watched made him turn the tables! I will come to it later.

Now, that show gave him the necessary boost and push to go ahead with his initial plan. He resigned and then tried contacting the then successful entrepreneur, say, Mr. A (whose name sir didn’t mention). Talking to him wasn’t as easy as Jeff thought to be. He was too busy to answer Jeff’s calls. But our man never gave up. He was persistent and seeing his calls for 5 continuous days, A fixed an appointment with Jeff but only for half an hour. Strictly. Jeff was ok with even 5 minutes nevertheless. Anyway, Jeff met A and discussion went on for more than 3 hours. Being highly impressed, A agreed to be his mentor and said,” From what I have observed, I am sure you will be a successful entrepreneur for you show the signs needed to be one. Let me tell you why..

  •  You can’t wait to experiment new ideas.
  • You do multitasking, an important aspect.
  • Regardless of what others say/comment, you stick onto your decision. No wavering mind.”

3 same reasons perceived in two different ways! In fact, opposite ways.

Now, coming to that TV show about USA’s top Golfer and a Baseball player. Golfer was teaching BB player to play golf. Sadly,even after numerous attempts, BB player couldn’t get the trick of properly swinging the golf club. At one point, that annoyed golfer said,” You can’t do this simple act? How many times should I teach you? I wonder how you claim to be the best BB player when you can’t get such an easy task right?”   BB player retaliated thus,” I may not know to swing but you, who doesn’t know a thing about Base Ball, are unfit to comment on my abilities as a BB player. To hell with your judgement!”

Golfer= manager ; BB player= Jeff. Manager, who knew nothing about business or what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, passed negative comments. Jeff understood what matters the most is his mentor’s opinion on him for only he (Mr. A) knows the business field in and out, not his manager. Only opinions of people who are related to what you’re about to do matter. Jeff ignored his manager’s comments, started his first business and the rest is the history!!

A short story with a very strong message!! Every person has his own opinion on almost everything. What sets you apart is whom you choose to follow and ignore.

PS: To know about Jeff Hoffman, check out this. http://www.jeffhoffman.com