Each one of us has a different definition of what success entails. Just like there are no set parameters to gauge an ideal life, there is no single definition of success. Many people who rise to fame and professional success believe in taking risks and dare to make unconventional choices. But, it's not like they did not have their fair share of failures. An example of this is entrepreneur, content creator, and public speaker, Ankur Warikoo. It wasn't a cakewalk to live life on his own terms but with faith and family support, he achieved his goals.
Recently, he opened up about his life's journey to Humans Of Bombay. Mr Warikoo was born in a middle-class family. However, he always aimed high and dreamt big. When he was 11, he wanted to be a space scientist and set foot on Mars. He studied, worked hard and secured a full scholarship for a PhD program in the US. His parents were happy and even he thought that life was going to change for good. However, he decided to drop out of his PhD programme.
Mr Warikoo said, “I did well in college, but I wasn't happy. Everything felt robotic. I was confused because things had worked according to ‘the plan', but when I came back for my summer break, I realised I just missed being at home.”
He thought of dropping out and coming back home. Everyone around him told him that it would end up being the worst decision of his life. But he stood his ground and with the belief that he'd be able to work something out, he returned home, “leaving behind my dream and my degree”. That devastated his parents.
While he was in the US, his father had quit his job to start something, which didn't work out. So, the family was in debt now. “I took up the first job I got at a corporate training firm–it paid me 15k! It was more than I expected. It also set the course for the rest of my life,” he said.
Mr Warikoo then pursued MBA and worked as a consultant for three years “only to leave it for the startup world”. He said, “It was a bold move, especially since I was at the peak of my career and my younger one was only 3.”
But he received the full support of his wife. “I worked at 2 startups before Nearbuy happened. I gave Nearbuy 4 years, and after seeing all sorts of ups and downs, just when the company broke even, I stepped down as CEO.”
Then he took a break of three months, which was when the “world went into a lockdown”, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Warikoo, who was 39 then, “was jobless with 2 kids and staring at just 5 months' worth of savings in the bank”.
He and his wife then chalked out a worst-case scenario — “if nothing worked out, we'd sell our house and move to the mountains”.
Though he had his family's support, he knew he had a lot of responsibility towards them as well. So, the “what next” question haunted him and he decided to make use of the knowledge he had acquired over the years and got into content creation.
He did not take up content creation with any set goal. He did it because he enjoyed it. Soon, he went from being extremely busy as a CEO to someone who had the time to be with family. “I even wrote a book! Who would have thought, right?” he says.
Now, at the age of 41, he feels his life is the way he wants it to be. “I have control over it. I spend time doing things for myself–writing, meditating, investing, and reading,” he says, adding that he's even working on a start-up again.
Mr Warikoo says that he has done a lot of running in life, and now he wants to do things as per his own clock. “If you were to ask me the question, ‘Where do you see yourself five years from now?' My answer is I don't know. And that's fine by me,” he signs off.
Here's his post:
Over 2,900 people had liked the post at the time of writing. The post had racked up many comments as well.
One user, Philamin Philip, said it was an “inspiring life story”.
Junaid Younis, another user, felt that it was a beautiful lesson for everyone, and added, “We deserve to be free humans and we should let our destiny be decided by God.”
A third user, Mitali Singh, said, “Life is not a target and you will not be judged at the end by how much you achieved, rather how much you lived.”Click for more trending news