I started reading the autobiography of Binod Chaudhary yesterday.
The only billionaire from Nepal, the man needs little introduction. Forbes Real-time Net Worth estimates Chaudhary to have a net worth of $1.4B.
However, I’m at the earlier phase of the book, thus this article is not about Binod Chaudhary. It is inspired by the journey of his father and grandfather.
Poor mindset thinks safety and selfishness, rich mindset thinks risk-taking and networking
Binod Chaudhary’s autobiography starts with a succinct background of the Marwadis. Chaudhary explains the primary reasons why the Marwadis came from nothing and gained a significant share of business in various sectors.
He claims that their appetite for risk-taking is what made it all possible.
The Marwadis, Maade as they are called with derogation (or with jealousy) in Nepal, also stayed united wherever they go, like bees on a beehive. This made it possible for them to look after each other away from home, and this often was the case from a financial viewpoint. They lent seed funds to each other, which meant none had to rely solely on their personal wealth to start a business.
As a result, opportunities were quickly captured and the power of leverage perfectly utilized.
Take risks, dare to grab opportunities when they come, and use the power of leverage to your advantage.
Poor mindset hesitates, rich mindset takes a giant, seemingly unwise leap of faith
Binod Chaudhary’s grandfather, Bhuramal Das Chaudhary, had a small clothing business. Only later did he start a small shop near Basantapur.
After his death, Binod Chaudhary’s father, Lunkaran Das Chaudhary, had to take over the business. Lunkaran Das was visionary, and he wanted to expand further.
Lunkaran Das got into jute exporting, which fared poorly. He then decided to get into road construction, hearing that subcontractors were being searched for to complete the Kathmandu-Trishuli highway. United Builders was born.
What is peculiar about his move is that Lunkaran Das knew nothing about construction. He did not have a core team; he did not even have a team. Neither did he know anyone who was knowledgeable about the matter.
What do you learn from that? If you go out today and tell your friends or parents that you will start a business you know nothing about, what will they tell you? How will the business experts and MBA graduates judge your proposition?
To become more than who you are now, you have to stop living like you are living now. To achieve things you have not, you have to go to places and do things you have not. Sometimes, this may mean taking a giant, seemingly unwise leap of faith.
Poor mindset questions his own qualifications, rich mindset takes a mouthful of breath and jumps
What did Lunkaran Das know about construction? Well, when starting out, he did not. But years after taking a leap of faith, he did.
Lunkaran Das then went on to establish a strong footing into flooring and furnishing and ran a hugely profitable, perhaps monopolistic (rightly so) store.
Next in line came a department store, Arun Emporium, which was the first of its kind in Nepal.
Did Lunkaran Das have the right training and educational background to start any of them? Did he have the right mentors and just the right connections?
All he had is a can-do mindset. In all the ventures, he sensed a demand and immediately came in attendance with supply, which leads me to absorb another lesson.
Poor mindset avoids change, rich mindset embraces it.
Change is scary. Change is uncertain.
People fear change because they lose control over their roles. The larger the change, the more they are going to feel like the change is being done to them.
No one likes feeling powerless.
But all the good things in life require change. To get to a happier and more prosperous place in life, it wants you to change constantly: to change your career, change your place of residence, sometimes change your country, and oftentimes your friend circle.
When the businesses started by Lunkaran Das were profitable enough, why did he feel the need to constantly change and morph into a new business?
I don’t really have an answer for this one. Some people do not like to hear this, but I think it comes with birth. Some people hate stagnation. They are cursed to always look to be more, do more, and get more in life. It is just the way they are built, and there’s no going back.
Poor mindset aims for satiety as the purpose in life, rich mindset aims for constant drive and greater impact
Grandfather’s clothing business, clothing store, father’s clothing store, construction company, jute exporting, department store, to Binod Chaudhary’s Saree store, to today, where the Chaudhary Group has a footing in almost everything, in some sectors internationally.
With someone with a poor mindset, it seems that people with a rich mindset will settle for nothing. And they are right. There is no nobility in poverty, in thinking small.
Wealth is created by thinking big, by wanting to do more than what others are doing, even more than what one did in the past.
Money will never be enough, progress will never be enough, but that is not a bad thing. Life does not want you to be happy with less, although that school of thought is liberating to some.
The beauty about life is that there is no limit to the good things you can do, changes you can bring to the world, and happiness you can spread. Being wealthy allows you to do just that, not just for your family but for other people, and their families.
Being rich does not mean you are taking a larger-than-reasonable share of the pie by depriving others of their fair share. Most haters of capitalism think this way. Actually, being rich means that you are making the pie bigger for all.
If you ask me, being rich is the moral responsibility of every human being. Like I tried to elaborate in this article, the intricate differences in the way people think make all the difference.
Mindset is the distinction between someone who struggles to raise his own family and someone who can afford for multiple generations after him.