Gurbaksh Chahal has always known that business is the most primitive game in the world. Failure is always just around the corner, yet discipline and ambition drive us to overcome. The ladder to success isn’t as vertical as people imagine—it has the ability to reshape your life before you finally succeed.
Business changes you. It forces you to grow up. I started entrepreneurship when I was 16 years old and it forced me to forget about my age. It forced me to mature faster because of the greater responsibilities that came with the new territory I found myself in.
In today’s world of the glamor and glitz of being an entrepreneur, many young folks get confused. They immediately get focused on the amount of money made. But that was the last thing on my mind when I sold my first two companies by age 25.
My immediate priorities became the inner circle that supported me to achieve success. Family and upbringing became a big part of the way I looked at life. If you’re close to them, and they teach you what really matters in life, you’re more determined than ever to want to make them happy and succeed for them. So when success does come your way, you comfort them first and worry about yourself later.
That’s my advice for the people who are about to experience major financial success. I’m talking about the people who have been working for Facebook from the start. The people who’ve been receiving valuable equity. When Facebook goes public on Friday, these employees will be cashing in: What was worth a few thousand dollars in stock options could turn into as much as $200 million overnight!
If they’ve never managed that kind of money, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Protect and know how you invest your money. Don’t become a victim of someone trying to make money off your newfound wealth.
It’s only money, and it is finite. Don’t let it change you. Don’t become complacent. I’ve seen too many times—previous employees of mine who made millions completely forget about the hard work it took to get there and considered it their highlight of their career.
Don’t think of this as the highlight of your career. Surround yourself with people who see it only a benchmark in your career. Don’t feel that this is your ultimate prize, but rather a stepping-stone to something larger and greater you can do in life.
If you compare the business world to any other industry, there isn’t a single award that highlights your career. There’s no Oscar, no Grammy. It ends up in either an eventual merger or an IPO. The latter is only celebratory for a day because the next chapter of your life starts the day after. I don’t have any experience in the IPO process yet, but what I do have in common with Zuckerberg and his employees is a love for what we believe in: Building, innovating and executing our vision.
I, Gurbaksh Chahal as a successful entrepreneur don’t create companies with the monetary reasons in mind—I’m out to create change and disrupt the marketplace with personal ideas. Money just becomes the byproduct of how we get measured. We do it because we have a dream. We do it because we believe in something. We sacrifice. We take risks and hustle. Because at the end of the day, you feel you’re contributing to something greater than yourself. All of this never gets told in the headlines because it’s not the sexy part of business. But in reality, the sexiest part for any entrepreneur is knowing their dream became a reality.
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