Each of us has a different definition of what success entails. Just as there are no set metrics 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 haven’t had their fair share of failures. One example is Ankur Warikoo, entrepreneur, content creator and speaker. It wasn’t easy to live life on his own terms, but with the faith and support of his family, he achieved his goals.
Recently, he opened up about his life’s journey to Humans Of Bombay. Mr. Warikoo was born into a middle-class family. However, he always aimed high and dreamed big. When he was 11, he wanted to be a space scientist and set foot on Mars. He studied, worked hard, and got a full scholarship for a PhD program in the United States. His parents were happy and even he thought life was going to change for good. However, he decided to drop out of his doctoral program.
Mr. Warikoo said, “I did well in college, but I wasn’t happy. Everything seemed robotic. I was confused because things had gone according to ‘plan’, but when I came back for my summer vacation I realized I missed being home.
He thought about giving up and coming home. Everyone around him told him it would end up being the worst decision of his life. But he held on and with the belief that he would be able to work something out, he returned home, “leaving behind my dream and my diploma”. This devastated her parents.
While he was in the United States, his father quit his job to start something, which didn’t work out. So the family was in debt now. “I took the first job I got at a corporate training company – it paid me 15,000! It was more than I expected. It also paved the way for the rest of my life,” he said.
Mr Warikoo then pursued an MBA and worked as a consultant for three years “to leave it for the startup world”. He said: “It was a bold move, especially since I was at the height of my career and my youngest was only 3 years old.”
But he received the full support of his wife. “I worked at 2 startups before Nearbuy came along. I gave Nearbuy 4 years, and after seeing all kinds of ups and downs, just when the company broke even, I resigned from my position as CEO.
Then he took a three-month hiatus, which is when the “world went into lockdown” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Warikoo, who was 39 at the time, “was unemployed with 2 children and had only 5 months of savings in the bank”.
He and his wife then imagined the worst scenario: “if nothing worked out, we would sell our house and move to the mountains”.
Although he had the support of his family, he knew that he also had a lot of responsibility towards them. So, the question “what next” haunted him and he decided to use the knowledge he had acquired over the years and get into content creation.
He didn’t go into content creation with a set goal. He did it because he liked it. Soon, he went from an extremely busy CEO to someone who had time to be with his family. “I even wrote a book! Who would have thought, right? he says.
Today, at 41, he feels his life is his way. “I have control over it. I spend time doing things for myself – writing, meditating, investing and reading,” he says, adding that he is even working on a start-up again.
Mr. Warikoo says he has run around a lot in life and now wants to do things on his own clock. “If you were to ask me, ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ My answer is that I don’t know. And that’s fine with me,” he concludes.
Here is his message:
Over 2,900 people had liked the post at the time of writing. The post had also generated many comments.
One user, Philamin Philip, said it was an “inspirational life story”.
Another user, Junaid Younis, felt it was a great 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 in the end by what you have achieved, but rather by what you have been through.”
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