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Nov 17, 2017

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"Lessons We Can Learn From Gurbaksh Chahal

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I love hearing about success stories and those that have defeated the odds. One of those people who is an internet pioneer is a man named Gurbaksh Chahal, or to his friends, simply “G”. I was intrigued by his success by his beginning story and his drive to never give up no matter what the odds. Not to mention he is handsome ;)
His story begins about growing up in India. His parents were awarded a Visa via the lottery system. When G was four, he and his family came to America with \$25. He was often tormented as a child because of his turban. When he was an early teen his father took him back to India so that he wouldn’t forget his heritage. They first met some cousins on his mother’s side. G comments how he felt no connection to his cousins, it was as if his cousins thought he was the dumb American and they were the smart indians. He then went to visit his grandmother’s sister and he said she and everyone in the village was very welcoming. He then shares his first lesson: “Always surround yourself with people who want you to succeed, as you will discover most people are rooting for you to fail.”
Moving on to his teen years G began to develop a passion for helping his father with stock research. He liked it like homework, except for the real world. On October 27th, 1997 the stock market crashed. His father had lost everything. This was the first time G saw his father cry. G was terrified. A few days later his father snapped out of his depression and was determined for his family to move into the house they had been saving for. G was affected by the positive change in attitude. The resilience and determination was cemented into his way of thinking. His next lesson: “Never give up. The road to success is paved with failures

He realized that money began to to flow from traditional media such as newspaper and TV to the internet. He noticed there were other companies that were cashing in on this and that these companies started to transition from impression-based ads to click based. He wanted to try and learn more about this so he began to call and ask around. He began to start his own website and although it was a bit amateurish- he had designed it in Microsoft FrontPage. He found a company in London that had an Ad tracking system. A company rep flew out to meet G. Since G didn’t have a driver’s license, his brother drove him to the dinner meeting. He found out that the company rep was the owner and the company was a one-man operation who was on the verge of bankruptcy. G instantly knew that he was negotiating from a position of power and was no longer nervous. The man tweaked the software to G’s needs and G bought the software for \$30k. The agreement stated that G would pay him after 90 days. G needed 90 days to generate income. G also told him that once the company was up and running, he would offer to pay the man \$10k a month to operate the software. G was instantly and business and quickly registered the name “Click Agents.”
G started making more calls. He started emailing. G said that getting people on the phone was a “piece of cake.” But finding someone to take a chance on him was difficult. Finally, G struck gold when he called LeftField and ad agency who had InfoSeek as client. InfoSeek wanted to increase traffic to their site. G told LeftField that if they would put up a \$30,000 order he would deliver traffic for $1 a click. The following morning they sent over an order.
G never gave up. His story is all about his ability to persevere. His biggest lesson from all of this was about battling his cultural traditions, his parents expectations, his business adversaries or anything else that stood in his way- he was able to preserve and become extremely successful. Today he has over 3 different companies to his name, an incredible foundation that gives back to children in India and an empire to call his own. Gurbaksh Chahal truly is a rags to riches story we can all dream to have our own. He also has won an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013, is an international best-selling author of “The Dream” of his entrepreneurial journey and has been awarded the LEaders in Management Award and Honorary Doctorate degree in Commercial Science from Pace University.

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