I’m not ashamed to say that I didn’t attend college.
Culturally, being Indian, it’s quite strange to hear that. I was very close to attending, and had my opportunity at Gravity4 not come along (pre-launch), I would be sitting in a classroom probably learning about how a Roman empire conquered a piece of land that doesn’t affect my life.
Telling Indian parents that I was planning to drop out of school and not attend college wasn’t something I was looking forward to, but that is a whole other story that can be shared later.
Last July I made the decision that I was not going to attend college. Keep in mind; this is after a lavish high-school graduation party with speeches from parents, grandparents, relatives, and others saying how excited they were to see me going onto college. But the truth is, since high school I never was ‘excited’ to go to school for another four years and gain a ‘higher level education.’ I wanted to get out in the real world.
On July 8th of 2014 at 5:11pm, I sent a message to Gurbaksh’s private Facebook saying, “G, I need to work for Gravity4.” That was how we first connected, and the rest is history.
Now, it’s been 10 months since Gravity4 has launched, and in that time, I have gained an immeasurable amount of knowledge that no school could ever instill upon me. I’ve learned more about myself as a person and more about others as well.
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To me, the office is my university, my peers are my classmates and friends, and my professor is my mentor, Gurbaksh Chahal.
Every morning, I wake up with excitement to get out from under the blankets and do something different. Do something disruptive, something most others would call crazy. Before entering the start-up world and working in an environment I absolutely love, I never truly experienced real passion. I had heard of it, I had seen it in others, but never felt it myself.
2. Failure & Reward
When it comes to a school assignment, it’s not the end of the world when you make mistakes because there’s no real money involved. Fact is, 99.99% of the time, you’ll still pass. But it’s not the same in the real world. You learn the real meaning of making mistakes and letting your team down, losing money, and the permanency of it all.
On the other hand, you also learn the real value of reward. When you’re able to do something incredible, you learn the true value and meaning of reward. It is not always something monetary; it’s also that feeling you get inside when you know you have conquered. It’s not about a report card or a letter grade, it’s that internal reward and feeling of accomplishment.
Teamwork has a whole new meaning. In school, this meant group projects – where most of the time you were the only one in the group putting in the effort. At the end you receive a letter grade, which supposedly determines how well you work with others.
In the office, teamwork takes on an entirely new meaning; making sure your entire team is fully supported and stable. Whether that is emotionally, physically, or in a work environment, you gain a responsibility to ensure that your peers are satisfied and capable of delivering their best work. You don’t get a letter grade for it at the end of the day; you either disrupt, or get disrupted.
Today, not many schools have business ethics courses anymore; it’s just assumed. They also don’t have courses that teach students how to hustle their way to the top. Ultimately, that is the foundation for success – hustle. Ideas are a good start, but that is only 1 percent of the equation, the other 99 percent is execution. This is why, at Gravity4, all the entrepreneurs live by one motto: #DreamBigHustleHarder.