When I was a kid, the biggest indicator of my success for my parents was my school report card. Those days we used to have only two exams every year in our school – half-yearly and annual. Whether I came first in my class or not used to be their first question whenever results would get declared, every before asking how much marks I have scored. Since I had a lot of talented students in my class, I could give them the pleasure of hearing an affirmative response only once. And that was the year when I just decided to discipline myself and study for a few hours every day, not just during exam time.
During my graduation, when I decided to sit for all the MBA entrance tests, I remember disciplining myself for a period of 9 months and putting in 12-14 hours every day and even with a not so spectacular academic record, average English and zero work experience, I was able to clear most of the entrance exams.
In my MBA days also, I was an okay student who would get decent grades but would surely not be in the top 25th percentile of the class. In one of the semesters, I decided to put in few more hours every day in studies and the result was getting an A Grade in all my subjects. I seriously never thought that it would be so easy for a person of average talent like me.
By the time I joined the corporate world, probably I had understood the importance of hard work. For the first 5-6 years I was putting in 12-14 hours of work every day and this made me reach the top of hierarchy (obviously with an enviable salary) only at the age of 30.
I still consider myself someone with very average talent. But I work very hard and produce results. I still get enamoured when I hear extremely talented people speaking at conferences or when I meet them. But many a times, when I have hired the same talented people in various organisations where I have worked, they don’t seem to produce an equally exciting result.
I had no natural talent to be amazing at Maths, but I was able to score a 100 when I wanted to. I had zero knowledge of how to crack XLRI’s entrance exam, but with 9 months of hard work, I was able to do it. I could score an A in all the subjects in my MBA when I wanted to. I could reach the top of the corporate world without having any experience or knowledge about its working just by sheer hard work.
I am not saying that talent is not important. As I mentioned earlier, I really get enamoured by talented people and the talent they possess. But my weapon to beat them is my Hard Work.
Work Hard, Produce Results. That’s the Mantra for Success!