I recall what a friend shared with me from his successful uncle’s advice:
On occasion, when i am invited to speak, I consider it an honor when asked to share my experiences. Sharing my mistakes is not a slight on my ego, because someone else is going to benefit from those few minutes by saving hours or days agonizing over a solution to their predicament one day. You could say that this is a “Pay It Forward” policy entrenched in my life on a daily basis, and one I hope will also rub off on my kids. There is nothing as uplifting as someone coming up to you and saying they had learnt a lot from your father, and if there was anything they could do to assist, to just call them…anytime!
Last night, I was seated next to a bright 19 year old exchange student who flew in from Hong Kong. A UK citizen of Indian ethnic origin, he began to describe how he and his brother were sent to school in HK. Before I could guess why, he explained that his father, who runs one of the bigger textile factories in New Delhi, wanted both of them to speak Mandarin and be familiar with Chinese culture.
[ Deja Vu kicked in… wasn’t that the very same idea Lee Kuan Yew executed to ensure Singaporean kids study the Chinese language as a compulsory examinable subject?]. Can you imagine Chinese-speaking Indian entrepreneurs bridging business between the 2 biggest economic forces of the century?
He asked me for advice on how he should decide on a career which deviated from his father’s hope of getting him to run the family business. I gave him this:
I know you will make it, my friend! Change the world with other people’s mistakes!
Make your dream the one your family will love you for.