There are no guarantees in life

As I am working closely with my Interns in the Internship program, I have realized one major thing.

The most successful students are the ones who are ready to take calculated risks. The people who are not ready to take a risk and are looking for some guarantees – are not usually successful.

In this blog post, I want to talk about why you shouldn’t be looking for guarantees in life.

There are no guarantees in life – and people should stop looking for guarantees. We as a country, for generations, have been on the lookout for guarantees.

(I am not talking about the warranty and guarantee that you get from buying electronics. That should be there and needs to be there.)

I am talking about guarantees in life.

People, in general, are not ready to take risks.

And I am not talking about rash risk-taking. I am not talking about putting yourself in physical danger.

I am talking about the risks that people are not ready to take in their careers.

A lot of times, parents and teachers have told us that we should not take risks, we should do what the world expects you to do.

(And since everyone is doing the same thing, it is actually more risky than taking a real risk in your career.)

What I mean is…

Just take a look at the number of people who apply for UPSC exams.

In 2016, 11.3 Lakh people applied for UPSC exams.

4.6 lakh appeared for the exam, just around 15,000 people cleared the prelims and then appeared for the main exam.

Out of this only 3,000 got to the interview and 1,000 got selected.

1,000 people selected out of 11.3 lakh applied?

That’s less than 1%.

Actually 1/10th of 1% which is 0.1%.

When there is a 0.1% chance of success, why do 10+ lakh people prepare for the exam for years?

Isn’t it a risky path to take when there is a 99.9% chance of failure?

People do not see the risk in that because they think once they clear the exam, there is a guarantee that you can have a job for life and settle down safely.

People do not see the risk because they just blindly listened to their parents and teachers and the world around them.

I know so many people that have spent precious years of their career preparing for exams, instead of hustling and trying to get a business to work.

If they had invested those years in gaining a skill that others will see value in (instead of memorizing facts) – they will have a much better chance of success.

I am not saying that doing business is not risky. But the chances of success are much higher.

Only 10% of businesses succeed.

The chances of failure in business are 90%.

A 10% success rate is still good because all it takes for you is that you try a few different things and in the worst case 1 out of your 10 projects will work.

I have failed many times in my business.

I have moved on to other projects.

Some projects worked and some didn’t. I am ok with it.

A 10% chance of success is high.

It is 100 times more than 0.1% – the chances of success in UPSC.

But in general, people think that business is risky and appearing for a UPSC exam, and getting a government job is safer.

(I mean no disrespect to the people who have the goal of clearing UPSC as the main life goal and want to serve the country. Those are the 0.1% who get it anyway. But if you are looking for a safe job, we need to take risk differently.)

Most people do not take the risk of starting a business because most of the people around us – Parents and Teachers thought that to start a business you need capital and it is risky.

And without thinking about it, we ended up thinking that business is risky.

If you want to have a peaceful, well-settled life, and if wealth is an important part of it, which it is, your only path is to become an entrepreneur. There is NO other way which gives you a higher chance of success.

Just look at the lies you have told yourself about running a business:

You probably thought that running a business is risky…

  • Myth: Running a business is risky and one can lose money. It is a gamble. Your partner can cheat you.
  • Truth: No, running a business is not risky if you take a calculated risk. I have been running a business for the past 4 years and I have not lost any money, not it was risky because I believe in my hard work. I have a great business partner and we have fun doing business together.

You probably thought that a job is safer…

  • Myth: A job is safe because the government and the employer will take care of me. I don’t need to take risks and just need to work according to the expectations of the authorities. I just need to do my duty.
  • Truth: No one cares about you apart from your family. Every business looks at its own profits and they will lay you off once there is a problem with the economy or the market. Getting a job is riskier than doing a business. In business, you will have multiple sources of revenue and you are in charge of your decisions.

You probably thought that certain jobs will give you status in society…

  • Myth: Prestigious jobs will give me status in society and I can proudly tell people that I am a doctor, government officer, lawyer, or whatever it might be. If I have status I will be happy and satisfied.
  • Truth: No one cares about you. People care about themselves. Status in society will not give you happiness, nor put money in your bank. When trouble comes, like you are getting laid off, no one is gonna help you and will actually celebrate your fall.

I can keep going on and on about this but you get the idea.

Most people are telling a lie to themselves which is in line with the decisions they make in life – usually through emotion and social pressure.

Not taking risks is the biggest risk you can take.

Because when everyone is looking for certain opportunities – thinking that it is less risky – it automatically becomes riskier because the chances of success become low in a highly competitive field.

Taking the road less traveled will seem risky in the beginning for you and the people around you – but it is a safer option in the long run.

Stop looking for guarantees. There is no such thing in life. If someone says something is guaranteed, they are lying, they know it. If you change your mindset, you will be able to do different things.

Doing different things are safer because most people are not doing different things. And nothing is riskier than doing the same thing that everyone is doing.

Did you know that plumbing is one of the highest-paid professions in New Zealand?

Everyone told everyone that everyone should do medical, engineering, law, and other white-collar professions.

And suddenly there were no plumbers.

Plumbers make N$28 per hour for their work. That’s 1400 rupees per hour.

If a plumber worked for 8 hours a day, 5 hours a week for 50 weeks, that’s 28 Lakhs per year.

Even people working as software engineers in our country don’t make 28 lakhs CTC per year.

You have to remember that this concept of the job and big companies are a very recent phenomenon that happened in the past 100 years.

500-1000 years back, everyone was an entrepreneur and there was no concept of a big company or organization giving jobs to 1,000s of people.

End of the day, people want products and services to enrich themselves and live a good life. Products and services can be only made by entrepreneurs.

No one will take care of you. Not your parents. Not your government. Not your family. Not your company.

But if you are ready to create products and services of value, the market will take care of you. The market will always pay for what it wants.

The market is your family. Your God. Your Friend. Your partner for life.

A nation’s wealth goes up when more entrepreneurs come into the arena of the economy. As values are exchanged, the entire country’s wealth will go up. Money doesn’t make a country wealthy. Products and services of value do.

And creating a product or service that is profitable for investors, team members, and customers can only be done by entrepreneurs.

If you want to do a service to yourself, and the wealth of the country, decide to start a business. Become an entrepreneur.

It will drive you mad, but you will be saner than the people who are ready to work in a boring corporate job for 30 years.

Or trying to clear an exam that has a chance of 0.1% success.

What do you think?

You are going to be a calculated risk-taker?

Or are you going to look for guarantees?

Cheers,
Deepak Kanakaraju

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