Sachin Dev Duggal's entrepreneurial achievements are known around the world, and not just in light of the fact that he works from three urban communities spread the globe. His phones field notifications constantly whether he's working from London, Los Angeles, or Delhi. That happens when you've been building businesses since the age of 15.
Indeed, even before beginning his first business, Sachin Duggal was determined to make change. At 12 years old, he went in front of an audience before 1200 people and the world media to demand something be done about the condition of the earth. He worked for the United Nations and composed the Declaration of Youth Rights before he finished his first degree.
He developed a problem-solving mindset early on at the age of 14 when he broke his mother's computer. Following her ominous warning — "Fix it, or else," — Duggal quickly learned to tinker with basic programming. He restored her computer, built his own the following year, then built and sold them to family and friends soon after.
Today Sachin's brilliant mind is far from unappreciated. Over the years since first fixing his mother's computer, he's carved the way in the world of software and cloud computing. His insistence on finding the most efficient solution to a problem, one problem at a time, secures his success.
To put it simply, Sachin Dev Duggal is an innovative serial entrepreneur. His wide range of experience, though, equips him with a unique insight on life that many entrepreneurs lack. He believes in projects that allow him the opportunity to benefit the world at large.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Sachin and asked him for a few insights that define his work process. Our conversation helped me uncover the ways he looks at life to keep him motivated and moving forward.
Haven't Heard of Sachin Dev Duggal?
Following his computer-building business, he shifted into software development and investment banking during his late teenage years. Duggal then co-founded nivio in August of 2004, which became a disruptor in the computing industry. His work with nivio resulted in his being named a technology pioneer in January 2009 at the World Economic Forum.
Sachin left nivio in 2012 to pursue his next idea in the cloud computing industry. He spent the interim years on intensive development and bootstrapping with some fellow founders. Then, in June of 2018, Engineer.ai launched. The software feeds into his vision of providing people the seemingly out of reach tools they need to bring their ideas to life by using human-assisted AI to build apps and custom software.
(The Builder team at Cannes Film Festival 2019. Aramanya, the son of Sachin Dev Duggal, claimed the title of the youngest person to ever walk the red carpet).
In addition to his incredible business ventures, Sachin is decorated with numerous accolades from around the world. He was named Indian Innovator of the Year by MIT TR35, the Leader of Tomorrow by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Entrepreneur of the Year finalist by EY, just to name a few.
Even if you already know of Duggal's story, the businesses he's built, the awards he's won, his resume is nothing short of inspirational. But what is the mindset that propels him around the world from day-to-day? How does his view on business, and life in general, keep him ahead of the curve year after year?
1. Life is like a function.
Since Sachin started out by programming his mother's computer, it makes sense that he sees life as a function. Functions are mathematical equations that have only one output; there is only one solution. And life, as Duggal explains, all sums to zero.
Your life is the sum of all that ever happens to and around you. It's the result of everything that you do to other people and everything that other people do to you. All the things you do well and all the things you do badly. It's the total of the times you were nice and the times you were not nice.
You can't control the things that happen to and around you, but you can control the way you respond to them. And when you look back at the end of your life all the variables that took place return the value of you. What do you want that return value to look like?
When your life comes to an end it all sums to zero. Everything that ever took place. This gives you enormous freedom in the way you approach life. What are you going to do with that freedom?
2. Short-term pain for long-term gain.
The best things in life never come easy. It takes time, consistency, dedication, and patience to bring a dream to life. You have two options during every single moment in your life: the easy way or the hard way.
Sachin had a simple but beautiful way he looks at these choices:
"Short-term gain for long-term pain."
You can eat a box of donuts for short-term gain because, let's face it, donuts are delicious. But eating the entire box of donuts results in long-term pain, both in a stomach ache and an impact on your health.
Or you can go lift weights at the gym, especially with it being the time for New Year's resolutions, and experience short-term pain. But the long-term gain you receive when you stick with an exercise regimen is worth it.
The majority of people settle for the easy way out in life. Successful entrepreneurs take the exact opposite of the easy way. They spend their days pursuing short-term pain after short-term pain in order to experience that long-term gain of success.
3. The most important lesson in life is tunnel vision.
Sometimes you hear people talk about tunnel vision like it's a bad thing. Sachin, on the other hand, believes it's one of life's most important lessons. It isn't hard to find yourself distracted when building a business. There are countless factors to consider at the beginning of any new endeavor.
This is where tunnel vision comes into play. Sachin suggests you bypass every single obstacle standing in your way and visualize yourself at the end. Speed past the naysayers and through the difficult periods by looking past them. Then focus only on that.
Ask yourself, "What is the problem I'm solving and what is the smallest solution that gets me to the resolution?" One way to figure this out is to take yourself to the point in time where your problem is solved. Turn back around 180 degrees and look at the shortest distance to the result where you're standing. Then follow that path.
This exercise offers you a sense of confidence and surety that can keep you moving through the challenges. Once you've visualized the path that will help you solve your problem, you can follow through then look toward your next problem.
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Engineer.ai is a human-assisted AI that empowers everyone to independently build and operate tech products through two products that work together to be their virtual engineering team. Engineer.ai is on a mission to turn ideas into developed product...