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The definition of success can and will change over time. For instance, when I was deep in debt, the definition of my success was to get over it.

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Ashim Kadariya
Business Coach

When growing up, Ashim Kadariya aimed to become a chartered accountant and went to New Delhi to study the subject. “I was an average student but there was this urge to study chartered accountancy, but it was only after I joined college, I realised it was not my cup of tea. During that period, I attended several training and coaching programmes and I found a fit and decided to become a coach,” he recalls

The impact that his mentors and trainers had on him was so valuable, he believed, he could pass on this gift to other people. “I thought I would be able to contribute more to the society this way,” he shares about what it is that drives him to coach.

In this edition of Business 360, Kadariya talks about the five things that have had an impact on his personal and professional life.

There will be obstacles on the way

I wanted to start providing training classes but wasn’t clear on what training to provide. The passion was there but I wasn’t certain on what to do. Hence, I started a company called Fox Globe; more than earning, it was about learning. I wanted to know what happens backstage, what goes on behind training programmes. I wanted to know how to prepare for 10 people for an hour and what to do when the training is for a hall full of people over two days. I wanted to learn the smallest of details as  my aim was to provide the best without compromise. I also wanted to bring the best trainers to Nepal and take the country’s best abroad.  

I started building connections and in 2015 when I organised my first training, I faced a loss of nearly Rs eight lakhs. I wanted to do it on a grand scale and had booked the Academy Hall in Exhibition Road but there were only 51 participants. In fact, by that year I was in a debt of Rs 40 lakhs already. I was working really hard but also had no money because I wasn’t making profits. But I knew that entrepreneurship comes with the ‘stress’ scenario. I have always been an optimist and was taking loans knowing that things will work out sooner rather than later. What added salt to the wound was the fact that my friends who had gone abroad were sending money home and here I was drowned in debt.

I found myself a complete failure. I then went to India again to meet a few experts and seek their opinion. I still remember one of them saying, ‘If you are not doing as good as you want, then there is something that you don’t know’. This came as my first realisation. The second thing I learnt was that if you are continuously burning your time, money and energy and if you continue to re-invest in the same system then nothing is going to change. I immediately accepted that there was a problem and I was the one who was responsible for it and would have to solve it. Many people don’t accept that there is a problem and that is why there is consistent failure. The first step to solving any problem is to accept there is one. So, even though I don’t have formal education I have learnt a lot through my trials and failures.

Adopt, adapt and move on

Having realised I still lacked the required knowledge and skills, I focused on developing myself by reading more books and meeting successful business leaders to get their insights. Tony Robbins, an American writer and coach, always says that success leaves clues and I believe in that. Even when I was facing a loss, I invested a huge amount on my personal development by meeting management gurus and trainers. Education is expensive and learning from world-class trainers and speakers will cost a lot but there is so much to learn from them. I have always believed that once you stop learning, you start dying. 

Once I felt I was ready to enter the market, I came back and started with some changes and the first change I made was in the name itself. I renamed the company and called it ‘Success Vidhi’ and started implementing the things I had learnt. And things actually began to work. I compiled all my learnings into a system and started providing trainings to organisations.

In this journey, I have met many businesspeople who have been struggling; some struggle with losses while others are doing good business but they have no life. I started teaching business owners whatever I had learnt.

I understand that before starting a business, we invest time and money and imagine it will grow and be successful, but we should also seek proof of concept that our business will work. With this understanding, I wanted to teach but I needed to have proof that my learnings would actually work. Seeing significant changes among the few business owners that I was already working with, I then went all out and started offering my training programmes to others.

Initially, I decided to train people on a one-to-one basis but the problem was I was just 28 years old and was deciding to train business people who were more successful than me on how to run a business. However, with the positive feedback and knowing that my training was actually helpful, in 2018, I started training people in groups. But then Covid 19 happened and during the Covid lockdown, I decided to conduct a webinar for three hours and invited people for free. From there, I built my three-day signature programme called ‘Business Growth Incentive’ which has been so successful that there has been no looking back.

Results are the ultimate goal

While attending any training, you will find that some trainers are very good with their language and delivery, while others might have a great persona. But these I feel are secondary. The primary thing is result based training. The participants should be able to walk up to you and tell you that your training actually worked for them.

This is also one reason, despite numerous requests for a one-day training I refuse to do so. I feel it will be an injustice to the participants because I know one day is not enough. As a matter of fact, even three days do not suffice so I provide hand-holding support for nine to twelve months. Currently, I have 25 business owners going through a nine-month programme which is a complete handholding support.

Coaching is a next-level game

Coaching is a next-level game. A trainer can provide inputs for a certain period and then it is over whereas a coach has to be intrinsically involved. It is similar to a coach of a football or cricket team who devises a plan based on the strength of the players and also corrects their mistakes. Similarly, as a business coach I have to first understand my client’s business.

I have trained people involved in different business verticals and I have stopped looking at their problems. Usually, the surface problems we see are repetitive and fall under the usual 20 categories and once we solve them, the results start emerging. While coaching we need to dive deep and understand the problems from the grassroot level. It takes a lot of effort to bring changes in any organisation. My goal is to help build a business that can grow without the owner. It is about building an owner-independent business. Over the years I have met many business owners who are running their operations like they are holding a job for themselves. My niche is to make an owner-independent company. Of course, control is a must and you need to watch what is going on but the operations must be such that even without the owner the business must be able to function.

When people ask me about my certification, I tell them that I have none. How can a certificate ascertain whether a person is a good coach or not? In fact, I don’t provide any certificates to those I train too. My only mantra is result.

Definition of success changes with time

The definition of success can and will change over time. For instance, when I was deep in debt, the definition of my success was to get over it. After I was able to pay off my debts, success for me was to maintain my lifestyle. So, success is actually a relative term. Today, success for me would be how can I add more value to business owners’ lives. The reason why I have been harping on ‘business owners’ is because at present I am only focusing on them.

Many corporate houses have approached me but for now my focus is on individual business owners. I know where I want to contribute and I am steadfast in that.

Coming back to success, its definition for me may change tomorrow but currently I am in a profession where I help and touch the lives of business owners and make money at the same time. Also, being a good leader is success for me. For me, leadership is all about teaching. It is not about creating more followers but creating more leaders and the only way you can do so is by teaching, educating, handholding and motivating. I tell everyone that to be a good business leader you need to be a teacher.  

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MARCH 2024

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