On a normal day at office, I told my friend and colleague Swarna that I kind of have the fear of losing a job. Swarna smiled at me and said that I was the most confident person she had ever seen in the company and I am the one having these fears. Then I told her I often got that feeling. She somewhat understood my state of mind and answered that even she got that feeling quite often. She presumed that most of our colleagues had this fear too. When I spoke to couple of my friends the truth is many have this fear. We went on discussing why is that fear in us? Most of the people have studied really well. They were toppers in their schools and colleges. They have been doing really well in corporate world but still we have a little fear inside our stomach!
After few days of above discussion, our house owner came to meet me. He stays in ground floor and we stay in first floor. His wife and kid were not in town. He got bored of watching tv and came up to talk to me. He looked at my personal library and exclaimed, “Oh you read so much? Are these your college or work related books?” I told, “No, none of them are related to my work or education. I just read it for time pass”, to which he replied, “I was not able to study so I discontinued my education and came to Bangalore”. He still had that astonishment how a person can read these many books.
Our conversation started. He started with his education. He had completed his tenth class and did his Industrial training. Soon after his 2 year industrial training he came to Bangalore. He was not interested in studies and did not want to study, which was his motivation in coming to Bangalore. At the age of 18, he came to Silicon Valley of India. Bangalore was not actually Silicon Valley when he came. He had no clue what to do when he landed up here. He did not even inform his parents about it. He had few relatives who assured him some help but did not help him when he was in Bangalore. After some days, he managed to find a job. The employer gave him accommodation, food and some money with which he could only watch couple of movies in a month. He had joined as a sales man in that company. That company sold kitchen utensils. They bought it in bulk from a supplier in Mumbai and sold these in Karnataka. He used to go from door to door and sell these articles. He did this for 4 and half years. One day he got frustrated with the work and he decided to quit the job. He did quit the job and asked for some money from his employer. Employer did not even give bus fare to his village near Hassan. He managed to go to his village. He was in his village after four and a half years. His parents were happy to receive him.
He took bath and told them that he was visiting Dharmasthala and just made a visit here. His mother prepared a good lunch and he enjoyed a wonderful lunch after many years. He asked his father some money. His father told, “We thought you only would give us money because you were earning for all these years”. He repeated his entire story, took three thousand rupees, and came back to Bangalore.
From that three thousand he bought kitchen utensils and went to Kolar to sell them. He went door to door and sold them. He made five thousand rupees. He came back to Bangalore, bought materials for five thousand rupees, and went back to Kolar. He made eight thousand rupees. Soon after six months, he had rented a small space in Bangalore and had three more sales people. After a year, he had eight sales people working for him. He was managing buying and distributing. After some days, there was a small rift between him and one of the sales person. He was unhappy and managed to brainwash other seven sales people. One fine day all eight sales people left his small company. He was really shocked and depressed. He was not getting sleep for some days. He sold off the materials in his godown by himself. He has travelled to almost all parts of Karnataka to clear his godown. He was clueless for next 3 months. He thought of doing some other business. Moreover, he did not know anything apart from selling kitchen utensils.
Again, he hired four sales people and started the same utensils business. This time he applied the lessons he had learnt from his previous experience. His small company grew from four sales people to 50-employee Company in 3 years. He made enough money to buy his own space in Bangalore and built the house I am currently living in. He had bought enough property in Hassan and his village. He made enough money for his lifetime.
After few more years, again he got a setback. As many utensil providers went online. His business went down; it was on the verge of loss. This time he made a conscious decision of closing the business. He is 33 years now and fearless! He is planning for another venture in Hassan now.
I tried to think about him when Swarna told about fear of failure. Chandru, my house owner has failed many times. He has no fear of failure and many of us who have never failed have fear of failure. I think it will be there until we fail.
When I hear news that a few students have committed suicide just because they have failed in their exams I feel very sad for them. Our education system does not teach us the philosophy of life. It is okay to fail. If you fail early, you can learn lessons early in life. If we want to be strong, it is better to fail early.
I request you to share this story with your friends and relatives. If they have failed, console them. It is normal to fail in exams and it is good to fail early. Please do not humiliate them.