Tell us about your journey!
My journey can best be described as accidental, but yet full of intent. I didn’t start off wanting to be where I am today. Rather, I thought it may be interesting to pursue studying Law, since that’s my father’s profession. Upon more reflection and consideration, I thought it might not be for me. Somewhere along the way, I found sports. Sports gave me a medium to develop as a person and allowed me to help others become the best version of themselves, too. This dynamic helped me form an intent, which was to make the world a better place by helping others improve. I found that by building a base in the sports industry I could modify the same skills into business and start a company that is multifaceted. Not only do I get to work with high performance business people but people that are literally transforming industries in a variety of ways throughout the globe. To be a part of that is truly exciting. But it wasn’t always that way, I had to come through a lot of adversity. Being from an Indo Canadian Background and wearing a turban meant that I was easily identified and not many people wanted to engage with me so finding friends was a challenge. In fact, I really didn’t have a lot of friends early on and was a lightning rod for bullies. I used to literally hide on the way to and from school so I wouldn’t run into people hurling racial slurs at me or fists if that’s what it came to, it wasn’t the best of times. When I look back on it now, it all happened for a reason and I’m gratefully for the strength my parents gave me to get through those times. As they say, a Diamond is only a piece of coal that made good under pressure. As I mentioned early, I turned that into sports and sports in to business. Along the way I managed to write a book and I am working on another as we speak. I am currently the President and Founder of Fearlessness Consulting Inc. The company is dedicated to transformational change in Performance and Achievement for companies and individuals. My background includes having been Head Coach and High-Performance Director for the CANADIAN NATIONAL BADMINTON Team. Along the way, I managed to travel to over 90 countries around the globe, perform as a Tabla (drummer) in live concerts with some artists of renown, been hired by several countries to deliver coaching education courses, officiate a wedding.
What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?
The intent led me to coaching, coaching led me to the Olympics and virtually every big event associated with my sports. This also led me to the field of education for coaches (who themselves are leaders). Then the accident happened. I met a business leader who has a thriving business of his own, who pointed out the need for a shift in thinking among business leaders. He became my mentor, and then the business was born. He also gave me a head start by introducing me to several people that would become my first clients. On the coach education side, I learned how to leverage knowledge and content into actionable products for consumption.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
The biggest thing was to identify my brand - what I did and what I could do. That took a while. On top of that, I wondered about my expertise in the field, but that was quickly overcome by the validation of clients. The next part of that was to develop a team that could both deliver seminars, create content and visualize the future for companies we engage with; soon after Fearlessness Consulting Inc. was born.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
Not really, people who know me know that I am passionate about things. They may not have been too agreeable at times, but generally, they understand my position and I’ve been blessed with their great support.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Vison. I’m told that I have a strong and calm delivery of my vision, which really helps to get the message across. I tend to work with people from a variety of backgrounds and really listen well to what they are saying; in turn I help them to crystalize their own vision towards the goals they themselves have set. This gives them a sense of happiness and completion.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
The amount of work that it takes. I wouldn’t do anything differently, but I would have an appreciation for the time and energy it takes to succeed.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
I would always say don’t think about money. Money will come. Know your passion and know why your passion is what it is. Spend time getting to know why you like the things you like. If you don’t, the underlying ‘why’ behind the what won’t be enough to support your dreams. Define it, live it. Having a clear ‘why’ makes enough of a different to put in the work, every day.