Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Mr Devesh Dwivedi
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Introducing Devesh Dwivedi
Todays guest, on the Join Up Dots podcast interview is the type of person that can only really be described as a serial entrepreneur….Mr Devesh Dwivedi
He has been founding and co founding businesses since he was 14 years old, when he started his first business a comics book rental company.
And since then he has navigated the world of the 9 – 5 with, lets say wariness.
Being somebody who readily describes himself as a round peg in a square hole, the life in corporate land was something that never really fitted.
In fact Devesh considers working in a cubicle or other standard position as jail.
He has since 2009 been inspiring folks across the globe to escape and find their own futures, through the Breaking The 9 To 5 Jail programme.
And that passion has led him to become a public speaker of note with keynotes and workshops driving home the message of “Consistent action taking.”
How The Dots Joined Up For Devesh
Using his life incidents, client stories, experiences, fun observations, and a unique story telling approach.
Devesh Dwivedi has inspired, informed, and entertained audiences of all ages and abilities.
He strongly believes that one can be over-educated.
However one can never be over-inspired and inspiration is the most important element of each success story.
So how does he do this?
And how does he find the courage to take such huge action everyday, as he changes not just his life, but that of 1000’s of others too?
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs with the one and only Devesh Dwivedi
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Devesh Dwivedi such as:
How he was born in India, and continued his education in New York even though the culture shock was extreme to say the least!
Why he learnt valuable lessons at the age of 14, when his first business failed that he still uses today!
How he got into trouble by playing around with models in his second start-up, an event management & marketing agency….and I ask you who wouldn’t?”
How it was pure desperation that started him on his journey into entrepreneurship!
How we can all leverage relationships across the globe to build communities and businesses that thrive!
How To Connect With Devesh Dwivedi
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Audio Transcription Of Devesh Dwivedi Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
How are we all Episode 56 of Join Up Dots It’s June the 23rd and in the world of Michael play, the feeling good. There is a reason why I just did that it wasn’t just I’m having a breakdown. The chap I’m speaking to today lives in Calgary and as I was flicking around, I’ve noticed that the legend that is Michael bubbly, is a is playing live today. So I’m I’m going to throw in some boob lay references and see if we can get the guests singing. Do you reckon you will? I don’t know. Anyway, today’s guest is a type of person that can only really be described as a serial entrepreneur. He’s been founding and co founding businesses since he was 14 years old when he started his first business, a comic book rental company. And since then, he has navigated the world of the nine to five with, let’s say wariness being somebody who readily describes himself as a round peg in a square hole. The life in corporate land was something that never really fitted. In fact, he considers working in a cubicle of a standard position as jail and has since 2009 been inspiring folks across the globe to escape and find their own futures through the breaking the nine to five jail programme. And that passion has led him to become a public speaker of note with keynotes and workshops driving home the message of consistent action taking. Using these life incidents, client storeys experiences fun observations and a unique storytelling approach. He has inspired, informed and entertained audiences of all ages and abilities. He strongly believes that one can be overeducated, however, one can never be over inspired. And inspiration is the most important element of each success storey. So how does he do this? And how does he find the courage to take such huge action every day? As he changes not just his life, but that of 1000 others too? Well, let’s just find out as we start Join Up Dots with the one and only the DVD. How are you sir?
Devesh Dwivedi [2:26]
I’m good. Thanks, David. Thanks for such a wonderful introduction.
David Ralph [2:30]
So can we get straight to the chase? Mr. Michael, Mr. Michael bubbly? He’s a singing in your town tonight. Are you going? Are you going in with the with your partner, your wife or whoever?
Devesh Dwivedi [2:43]
Oh, you know what? I have no plans just yet. But I might as well can we can we recreate
David Ralph [2:49]
a bit of Michael Bay sometime food a show? Should we should we just do that? Absolutely. gonna have fun with it. No one is listening. And I always say that just to sort of lure you in. So what? What is Calgary like for for the person who’s listening in today and has never been to Canada? Is it kind of because the word the Calgary Stampede is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it kind of a cowboy town? Or is that just something that happens once in a blue moon?
Devesh Dwivedi [3:17]
Um, absolutely. You know, I’m so Calgary is that, you know, cowboy town, like, you know, people call it like, you know, cow town as well. Now, I didn’t grow up here. So, I’m like, you know, I’m maybe not the best person to describe Calgary but I moved here back in 2010. So about like, you know, four or five years ago, I almost instantly like, you know, fell in love with the city. Like, it’s awesome. It’s, it’s like, it’s pretty cool. It’s laid back like, you know, not like London or New York or Toronto, like no other places that I have lived that. So it’s not as cutthroat as fast paced. So it’s, it’s fun and like, you know, laid back to like not to grow your family. It’s an awesome place. I mean, the only complaint that I have is definitely the snow and the cold. As they say, like, you know, Canada has only three seasons, winter, winter and winter. So yeah, absolutely. Other than that, no complaints. It’s an awesome place. And Calgary Stampede is is fun, too. I mean, that happens. Of course, I can arrange like, so we are looking forward to that. Like, it’s coming up pretty soon,
David Ralph [4:17]
I was talking to a chap on episode 12, called Jason gainer. And he comes from Canada. And he says, but basically one of the beautiful things about Canada is the fact that it’s so huge with so few people there. And he put it down to the fact that it was pretty much too cold to reproduce. Would you agree with that?
Devesh Dwivedi [4:37]
I know it’s too cold to prepare, like, you know, reproduce more, actually, you know, because you really want to be cosy. But I guess the landmass is so huge that, you know, we’re not looking forward to a population explosion anytime soon. That’s for sure.
David Ralph [4:53]
So, so where was sort of growing up area for you? Where was your childhood?
Devesh Dwivedi [4:58]
So I was born in India, I did my schooling there. And then I moved to New York, for my grad school, and I did my MBA there. And, you know, join the corporate jail, as I say, for a few years, almost half a decade, actually. At first, I thought maybe something was wrong with me. And I tried different jobs in different settings, different corporations, I was lucky enough to work for all sorts of like, you know, not for profits and fortune five companies. But yeah, just didn’t fit in there. So that’s like, you know, that’s the short of it.
David Ralph [5:30]
And the long of it is what was life in India, compared to say New York, it must have been absolute culture shock when you You came across?
Devesh Dwivedi [5:39]
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. There was definitely, like, no, there was definitely a culture shock. But I had, like, you know, some good support with friends and roommates and, you know, people of all sorts, like, no, like, no international students who came with me in the same class and whatnot. So it got a little easier with the time But absolutely, when, you know, when I first moved in, like, and it was a big culture, shock, the language, the culture, how you behave, how what people expect, what is cool, what is not cool. Everything was different. So yeah, absolutely.
David Ralph [6:12]
And was it purely education, because I know, over the last maybe five or six years, an explosion has occurred in India. So places like Bangalore are absolute, thriving business communities. So was it the sort of MBA that you you acquired, but you couldn’t get in India, that sort of direct you over to America?
Devesh Dwivedi [6:33]
Um, to be frank, I, you know, it was not so much I cannot. So there is a storey behind why I put that like, you know, that condition, or that education, like, you know, instead of the MBA that I could have gotten India, and for that will have to dive, like, you know, deep into, like, you know, how I got to a point where I had to decide to get an MBA. So, if you want I can touch upon that,
David Ralph [6:55]
that is the beauty of Join Up Dots, we can go anywhere you want. So let’s let’s dive, right.
Devesh Dwivedi [7:00]
Absolutely, absolutely. So when I was growing up, like night, I opened my first company at 14, as you mentioned, in my introduction, it was a comic book rental company, basically, like, you know, my family was tired that I would spend every single penny that I would get for like, not for any kind of allowance, anything, I would just spend it on comic books, I was big fan, I had like, maybe a garage full, maybe a garage and a half full of comic books. And still I would buy the more like, you know, the new books that would come out and whatnot, and to discipline me, they said, you know, what, no more allowance no more nothing for you, like, you know, as long as you’re spending money on comic books. So in the desperation, of finding money to buy comic books, and are going to continue reading what I absolutely was passionate about, like an hour. So, you know, I was so into it, that I had to find a way to make money, and I was only 14. So one day, like, you know, at school, I noticed, you know what kids go to the library, get books, and we were always bored that by the school library never had, like, you know, fun books, like they only had a few of the comic books, they didn’t have a big collection. So I thought, you know what, maybe I can start my own library, maybe I can start my own comic book rental. And that’s where I can charge people money and whatnot. So I did that. And you know, I absolutely failed within three months, because the kids took the book, but never came back to return those books. So within three months, the business was out of business, essentially, in the lack of system and inventory. So and now in hindsight, I can see that but as a 14 year old, I didn’t see that I thought, yeah, you know what people will bring my books back, pay me the rental and all that. Anyways, I was, like, you know, I was pretty much put down because of that, because, you know, the principal of the school didn’t like that I was getting into fights with every other kid in the school because I was trying to get my books back now
David Ralph [8:45]
the superhero outfit when you were fighting.
Devesh Dwivedi [8:49]
I wish I was I wish I was. So you know, I thought I was at that time in hindsight, like night now I think, you know, what, maybe I wasn’t much of a superhero, or I should I shouldn’t even have tried because that like, you know, definitely landed me in a couple of troubles. And I definitely got grounded at home as well. And then, you know, so I was like, yeah, you know, what family started putting pressure? No, no, try, you know, try to study harder, you know, the typical traditional learning that we all get, you know, go to good school, like, you know, get good grades pass out. And like, No, I’m like, you know, graduate, whatever, pass out, whatever, you know, get a good job and all that. So I said, Yeah, you know, what, I was pretty disappointed, you know, as a 14 year old, you’re facing failure for the first time. So you are more disappointed than typical, like, you know, guy in his 30s, like, you know, facing some failure, I would say, so, it’s your first time, you’ve never failed, right? So I thought, yeah, let’s barely, you know, go back to school, maybe this is not what I want to do. And I had already lost, like, you know, the passion for it anyways, because my books were gone. So yeah, like, you know, I started like, you know, focusing on studies. By the time I finished my high school, I came across another idea of event management, right. And I, I bootstrapped another company when I was 20, then, which was essentially an event management and marketing company, where we would do product launches and live events, for bigger companies, we’re trying to do like a launch of their product, whether it’s a service, a new business, whatever that happens to be. And I bootstrapped that company with like, let’s say, like, now about 20 bucks to like, you know, about a six figure company in less than a year. And I essentially, like I just, I hustled my way through it, I went to, like, you know, people who needed each other and put them together on a platform in this example, it was, you know, fashion schools, modelling agencies, all different kinds of folks who needed each other to put together these live events and like nine promised each one of them up, like, not a piece of the pie and whatnot. And that’s how I creatively like, you know, put my first event for, like, you know, for less than what it would have cost otherwise. And that’s how we got started. ran it for a couple of years. It was fun. And then again, like, you know, for like, no, for the reason that I would like not to publicly disclose I got in trouble again.
David Ralph [11:18]
I won’t come on. I’m gonna slow you down here. I’ve been kind of need to take control of this, because there’s so many questions bouncing around my head. So I’m gonna go with this first one. What was the bad thing that you did?
Devesh Dwivedi [11:32]
No, I mean, you know, it, was it?
Well, you know, let’s just say like, you know, it’s 20 something guys, like, you know, who are friends as well hanging out with models, and, you know, having fun with their business as well. And they could do a few things wrong. Right. So did you?
David Ralph [11:53]
Did you were a superhero outfit?
Devesh Dwivedi [11:58]
No, I know. I didn’t know I did. But I definitely had protection for sure. So, uh, yeah. So I mean, you know, and, you know, that got me in trouble as well. And again, like, you know, given India’s like, you know, ecosystem and culture and everything that definitely got me in trouble. And, like, you know, and asked me that, like, you know, my friends were more interested in running the show. And my thing, like, you know, is about starting up. So once things get routine, I would say, I lose interest in them anyways. So, you know, I have started a few companies where I have literally, you know, just sold it to a friend or, or like an hour, maybe, like, you know, just got bored out of it. And like, you know, and started pursuing something else. Because, for me, for me, the like, you know, the passion is in building something from scratch baking that cake from scratch, right? So, if I build a company, and I run it for three years, four years, and things start to get mundane, and it’s not challenging enough for me, I start to lose interest in it. Right. And I, I believe that was most of the reason, like, you know why I also sold that company to the two friends who I founded it with. And at that time, like, you know, because I was only High School grad, like, you know, I’m just pursuing my like, now my become my bachelor’s like, on the side, my family was after me saying, No, you know, what you gotta get in India, like, you know, even bachelor’s is not enough your family’s like, No, no, get a Masters get this get whatever, I cannot get even a PhD become a doctor or whatever. So to me, I should
David Ralph [13:31]
feel tremendous pressure from your family to go down the path that they wanted, was no part of you that really wanted to go look, Mom and Dad, just leave me be I’m going to do my own thing.
Devesh Dwivedi [13:43]
Exactly. So you know, that’s where like, you know, deal with me and parents, like, you know, you you have to put such a condition in front of them that they can not like, you know, fulfil. So I said, You know what, I don’t want to do an MBA in India, if I have if you want me to do a Masters, I want to do it from the United to the States of America.
David Ralph [14:03]
Back models dead? Yeah.
Unknown Speaker [14:07]
Yeah, as many
David Ralph [14:08]
models as you want, I will bring back to India for you, and you can pick the best.
Devesh Dwivedi [14:13]
Absolutely. Absolutely. No. So you know, at that time that, you know, they say, and I never thought they would say yes, because, you know, I mean, I didn’t imagine that, like, you know, they would say yes, for any reason. Cuz, you know, again, like, you know, from the software side of it, I’m the only son of my family, my mom didn’t let me join like, you know, defence, like, you know, in India, because, you know, the army in India, because I pass the exams, everything was fun, but she was like, No, no, you’re my only son, I can’t let you go to the army, like, No, I don’t want to lose you or whatever. So I thought, like, you know, I could play the same card and like, and then get out of it, like, you know, get out of the hole, do a Masters as well, because I was like, you know, what, I’m better off like, not just running my own show by myself, I’m making more money. To be honest, I didn’t say that in their face, because I would have got slapped. But I was making more money at one point where, like, you know, more than like, an either one of my mom and dad. And they both are bankers, so they were making very decent amount of money. So for, like, you know, so I just put a condition in front of them, which I thought they would not like, you know, they would not agree to, and, you know, they didn’t even like, you know, they didn’t even take a second to agree to their like, you know, what, if you get an admission in a college in America, we are going to send you like, you know, you’re going to be 100% sponsored, we’re going to give you the money, we don’t care, but you write the exam, right? The G Matt, right, whatever you need to write, like, you know, and like, you know, show us the admission, like no letter from the college. When that was like, again, see, that’s a challenge. So they put the challenge right back at me again. Of course, you know, life doesn’t come with instruction manuals. They come with mom and dad, so they know how to operate you, man. But
David Ralph [15:49]
did you not think when they agreed so quickly? Did you not think, God I should have gone for more? I should have gone? up good condition.
Devesh Dwivedi [15:58]
Yeah, send me to Mars or something? Yeah,
David Ralph [16:01]
absolutely. Take Take over what you get. So I want to take you back to your childhood. Because the key thing to us so far, is obviously your passion. You know, when when you talk, you go 100 miles an hour diverse, you really do, there’s so much coming out of it was amazing. When you had that comic book experience? Do you now look back on it as a failure? Or do you just look back on it as a stepping stone to where you are now?
Devesh Dwivedi [16:28]
Um, I To be honest, I see it as both David, I see it as both It was definitely a stepping stone, I mean, a stepping stone sorry. I mean, I still look at it, like, you know, in the hindsight like, you know, and this is one of the key reminders, whenever I’m looking at another business opportunity, there was so much that being my first one, there was so much that I learned from it, like know that absolutely, like an absolutely, like an immense what what school what MBA, like, you know, what, high school school grad school, nothing could teach me like, you know, what, that one failure taught me like, you know, from the, from the importance of, you know, knowing your customers from the importance of having a system in place to, to make sure that, you know, your business is scalable, and, you know, you’re one that one morning, you don’t wake up to your business totally gone, you know, important things like that, like, you know, the very basics of having a business running a business, or something that I learned from that. So it was certainly a stepping stone. Yes, I do look at it from a failure perspective as well. But when, like, you know, when I would say that, you know, typically like, you know, when people say failure, they tend to like, you know, they they tend to like, you know, put it in the category of disappointment, or like, you know, or, or loss versus what I do is I say, you know what, a failure is mostly not really a failure, but more of a mistake, more of a learning opportunity, where it’s like, hey, if I can learn from it, it was not really a failure. I mean, imagine if I did the same thing when I’m when I was 20, or when I was 30. And I learned those lessons far more expensively. I mean, would that be worth it? So that’s, that’s the real key. So when I feel that that yes, at like, no, when I was 14, I thought, yeah, I’ve lost millions of dollars. That’s how it felt like, that’s how much pain I had, because I lost like, a garage full of comic books, which I held very dear to me. But at the same time, now, in the hindsight, if you think about it, I lost a bunch of comic books. And that’s how I learned these lessons, it’s better than losing half a million dollars like now when you’re grown up, and you start a serious business. So that’s how I look at it
David Ralph [18:40]
is a great lesson for everyone out there. And the the motto of the show really is get out there, start trying things have successes, you’re going to have failures. But ultimately, if you get all your failures out of the way, you’re going to achieve a success. And the key thing to you on that even though you’ve as a child, you learn failure didn’t stop life, you just move on to the next stepping stone, don’t you?
Devesh Dwivedi [19:06]
Absolutely. So I would be very honest with you, in hindsight, everything is 2020. Everything is beautiful. Everything is perfect. You know, in hindsight, it’s always spring, right? You can you can look back and say, yeah, you know, this is what I did wrong. And this is what I could have, should have would have done, right. So, you know, that’s for sure. So the hindsight is always beautiful. But But the key is not just looking at it, in hindsight, but also making it like, you know, making it a point that, yeah, whatever I saw on the inside, whatever experiences I had, you know, has to be like, and it has to be, I would say embedded in my way of doing business, in my way of analysing situations in my way of looking at everything that I do, so that I don’t make the mistakes, because key is to not make the same mistakes, it’s always fun to make more mistakes. So you know, we are all marble, we are all you know, To err is human, everything like that, right? So to make mistakes is not a problem. But to make the same mistakes is definitely a problem. So if I still don’t put systems in my business, whenever I look at a new business opportunity, that would be the same mistake that I did when I was 14. And that would not be so cool. Because you know, I if I learn from it, I should be able to like, you know, put that lesson in place and make sure the same mistake doesn’t happen. So you’re absolutely right, like know about the mistakes and the failures, life shouldn’t stop. At the moment of the failure. It definitely feels like but that’s the real key. Like, you know, the persistence is the key. If you if you hold on to it long enough to understand that Yeah, you know, it’s just an experience that’s going to pass by, it doesn’t stop your life. You know, that’s, that’s the key to it.
David Ralph [20:51]
Absolutely. And at that point, I’m going to point you towards Mr. Steve Jobs, I’m going to bring the two of you together. Because I think that you’ve summarised he’s speech of 2005. fantastically well. So I’m going to bring this on now. And afterwards, I’m going to ask how relevant it is to you. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [21:09]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future, you have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [21:43]
Well, the tagline to this show is Join Up Dots connecting our past to build our future. And I believe as you were saying, bear, if you look back over your life, and you connect the things that you can do well, and you look at the things that you’ve done badly, you get a pretty good powerful, what’s going to lead you into the future. Now, those words that Steve Jobs said I listened to on a daily basis, and I am never I never failed to be inspired by them. But how relevant Do you feel they are to your life?
Devesh Dwivedi [22:17]
Absolutely. So you know, I guess like, you know, the last 510 minutes that we spent on like non talking about how like know how we should deal with mistakes, or how I look at my like, no comic book rental company, which I started at 14 as a stepping stone as well as as a mistake and whatnot, is absolutely like not applicable to this like no to this speech that you just ran here. So yeah, absolutely, um, if you look at it, like, you know, as I said, if you look at anything, in hindsight, as I said, it’s always 2020 it’s always beautiful. It’s always spring in, in hindsight, but the real key is to understand the importance of all these experiences, as you know, as Steve Jobs just mentioned, that, you know, the recording just mentioned, sorry. No, it was Steve,
David Ralph [23:10]
I brought him back.
Devesh Dwivedi [23:12]
Absolutely, we would all love to have him back. And he, you know, he’s immortal in a way like, you know, all these lessons that he has left for us, absolutely. Like, you know, he is definitely immortal at this point. And has always been, so, yeah, great inspiration. So going back to like, you know, going back to my point, um, if you look at, like, you know, if you look at your life experiences, the mistakes that you have made the failures that you have had, and you can, I would say, like, you know, analyse them or try to understand or trend, some sort of, like, you know, a lesson out of it that what is it that you have been doing wrong? What is it that you have been repeating? What is it that you have been, like, no, not correcting the course, in other ideas, if you have failed more than once, or more than twice more than three times, maybe even reflecting on all three of those failures? And trying to understand that, okay, what were the five things that were common in these three failures? That would help you also understand that? What are the things that you shouldn’t do? Because it’s all also very easy that Yeah, you know, what, I started business a, it failed, you know, what I should try business be? Yeah, you know, what I tried? It failed. I tried this and see, you know, I tried it failed. Now, ABC, you know, could be like, no, three different ideas, three different products, three different services. But have they been failing? For the same reason? Have you not being a, you know, I’m just gonna put like, you know, just pick like, no random thing, like, you know, you’re not being a hard worker, or you’re not being you know, persistent with your product, you giving up too easily, what is it is like, no, is he is the problem you not filtering people you do business with, actually, is the problem that, you know, how you approach problem solving itself? So what are those, like no key things that you keep making the same mistakes? Like know, if you are, then in that case, I know, certainly, you need, you need to, you need to understand those trends, you need to understand those common behaviours, and correct them in your business D that you are about to like, you know, begin. So the idea is, look at the dots that have been in your positive, you know, connect all the dots in the hindsight and make sure that that is the kind of connexion that is the kind of understanding that is the kind of learning that you apply to the Connexions going the dots going forward.
David Ralph [25:44]
So for somebody sitting out there at the moment, or doing a on a bus stop, or they’re in a taxi, or they’re just at their desk at work, pretending they’re working, but actually listening to us. And if you’re doing that good on you, because that’s what I used to do at work as well. What’s the kind of thing that they should focus in on when they need to start a new project? Because you were saying perseverance, and accepting challenges and all those kind of things. But at the very first, the very first step is just wanting something? Isn’t it? is always there more to it? What talents Did you have at the very beginning, when you knew that you were going to make a success of it?
Devesh Dwivedi [26:24]
Um, that’s a question like, you know, I really don’t know the right answer for it. Because it’s, it’s very different for everybody. Like, you know, when I was 14, I didn’t know like, I wanted to be an entrepreneur, it was just a feeling. It was like, to be Honestly, it was desperation, you know, that got me started to be very frank, like, you know, it was no need, it was no talent. It was no skills that we were talking about. At that time, it was sheer desperation that, you know, what, mom and dad have stopped the allowance, I need to make money to buy more books, that was just that pain that I really needed to solve. So perhaps you have a pain and that pain could be different for everybody. So David, as a different being diverse has a different pain. So Sean has a different pain that he feels like no, really like no. Passionate about like, No, he’s agonised with it, and he really needs to solve it. I don’t know, it is you like know who has to understand that pain that you’re going through in in many cases, it’s not, it may not be a pain that you are going through, it’s something like you know that you see that your employer is going through your, you know, a product that you can sell to your employer, him himself, or your colleague is going through all your family member is going to say, it doesn’t have to be a personal pain. It could be anyone’s been, but that is like, no, that is the starting point, to identify that pain. But as the starter point, you are like, you know, I always say, you know, the journey of 1000 miles starts with one step, right? So the action really counts. So when you see that pain, what is your attitude towards it? Do you really think of like no solutions when you see problems? Or you just ignore them? You know, my, that’s how it’s always been. And that’s the key differentiator between, I would say, employee and entrepreneurs, so the typical employee, just kings from that, like, no, he has been trained, his mind has been trained to think in that way, because his boss always tells him, you know what, that’s how it’s always been done that way. Right? That’s how it’s always been. That’s how it’s always been. So his mind is trained to think in that way. So when he looks at the problem, he’s like, yeah, you know, what, this is how we have been solving this, or this is how we have been going around this problem versus an entrepreneur things. Hmm, you know, what, there could be a better way. And that’s the deal. key differentiator. So as I said, you have to start by thinking of the problem and the solution itself. And of course, as I said, you can just be like, you know, I’m just yeah, you know, what, one day I want to be an entrepreneur, it’s, it’s that aha moment, it’s that identifying the pain, and the solution together, is what’s going to get you started. And also, you really, you know, you don’t need any more more talents ban, being able to send an email, or do a spreadsheet or a Word document, it really can start from the smallest little things, doesn’t it? Yeah, I mean, for me, like, you know, for me to start with just buying a domain name and,
David Ralph [29:16]
and what was it?
Devesh Dwivedi [29:18]
And, you know, to be frank, like, you know, I, my first domain was breaking the nine to five jail.com. But even before that, for me, the action was as simple as, actually I started a Facebook group called facebook.com, forward slash, breaking the nine to five, jail or whatever. And then I think they got rid of the group thing or whatever. And then we turned it into a page. Then we also had, like, you know, then, once people started commenting there, I started, what was called a Ning group, and i n g. Ning, and that used to be like, you know, where you could build a group kind of a website for a monthly fee, or whatever, we started that, so we didn’t even commit to, like, you know, making a full website of like, you know, of breaking the nine to five job.com, or whatever. Until, like, nobody really knew that what people wanted out of it, how people were, you know, interacting with, with us, like, you know, from a brand perspective from, from a personal perspective, and all of that. So, you know, the action, what got us started was as simple as just creating a Facebook page. Well, that was it this other people, this is interesting,
David Ralph [30:27]
you create a Facebook page, but how do you get people to go to that? And I think that’s the question that most of our listeners will be thinking, how do you suddenly managed to build a community because once you build the community, you’ve got momentum Avenue, and then you can start selling products, and you can be old, you know, whatever you want, but you need to have traffic. So how did you get them to come to this Facebook page that you set up? escape nine to five?
Devesh Dwivedi [30:52]
So quite frankly, you know, what, what happened? Like no, along the side of the face to face so it was not just a Facebook page was also the Ning group like, you know, thing that we had created? And, and we grew fairly organically, like, no, so back then I was in New York. And when I would go to do a networking meeting or whoever, like know, whichever event, I would mention, I would introduce my job as a nine to five job. So I’ll tell them, Hey, I’m in the nine to five jail at AIG insurance. I’m in the nine to five jail at Lehman Brothers, I’m at the nine to five, Gillette, XYZ, right. So you know, people People always found it, like, you know, amusing, and they always remembered me, so they always remembered me as the nine to five jail guy, because, you know, to remember, my name diversionary was a bit difficult for them. But remember me as the jail guy was a bit easier. So you know, you may you may look at, like, you know, what’s your hope? Like, you know, that would keep like, you know, that would keep you memorable, I would say like, you know, that would make it easy for people to remember you. That’s that’s one thing. And then the second is, I started interviewing, like, you know, people who had successfully done this employee to entrepreneur transition. So I started like, know, talking to people, just like we are talking right now, like, no, I would be on the other side, I would host this show called breaking the nine to five jail, there are still some videos on YouTube, I have not done any recently. But I in the beginning, that’s what I started doing to people who had done this, I started interviewing them. And now all of a sudden, instead of me only sending these like, you know, these posts and articles and everything to my friends and family. I now had people who were interviewed, and because now they had a marketing collateral or press to show off, they started sending it to their family and friends, their colleagues, their network, and that’s how it grew organically. So I’m sorry, I’m not a Facebook or, or a marketing expert, who can tell you know, you know, what, here are the five things that I did to make it grow. Like, you know, those were the organic ways how I grew, grew the overall community.
David Ralph [32:54]
No, I think that’s the perfect answer, because that is leverage. And everyone can do leverage can’t everyone can ask somebody for help, and then hopefully build up a relationship, and that person will help them. That’s the only way that I managed to get this show off the ground. You know, when I first started doing it, although I knew other people were doing daily shows, I was thinking How the hell do I get somebody to speak to me every single day, and I couldn’t, I just couldn’t get anyone. But then I got one person. And then I got two. And then I got three. And once I started actually interviewing them, and they didn’t think that I was a complete Muppet. Hopefully they didn’t think I was complete Muppet men, they’re likely to refer me to other people. And that’s exactly what you did. You allowed that leverage of their relationships to build the traffic that brings it back to you, it’s incredibly powerful, isn’t it?
Devesh Dwivedi [33:46]
Absolutely, absolutely. A new use also have to think of like, you know, have it as a community as not just people who are gonna eventually buy something from you, because you know, that that’s just a byproduct of building a community, as as long as you are, you’re passionate about the subject, you don’t mind, like, you know, building the community and the tribe around it, like, you know, but if you are just doing it for the sake of Yeah, you know, what, can I quickly sell them a ebook. That’s where it starts to go down. And you know, so interacting them at a human to human level definitely helped. So I would personally reply to each email, I would personally reply to each comment on the blog or each comment on the YouTube or whatever. And that’s how I made sure that people connected with me and not just overlooking the nine five jail is a book, you know, let’s buy a book a book. It’s talking to us. No, that was never the case.
David Ralph [34:37]
You know, I had Susannah Misra on episode 25. And he was the chap who introduced me to you. And you know, hopefully, fingers crossed at the end of it, you introduced me to other people. And soon you will have more than you can cope with, when you were building that community. The break from the nine to five, was there a point when you actually bought? Oh, my God, I think this is too big for me at the moment, or was it something that was always you know, comfortable to deal with, whilst you were doing your corporate gig at the same time.
Devesh Dwivedi [35:11]
Um, you know, what, I would be lying if I say like, you know, if it was too big or too small, just because I was having so much fun with it, I never felt that overwhelm of it being like, you know, too big or too small. It was always fun. I, like, you know, after like, you know, after I quit my job, actually, and I started my own firm idea to inception, where I like, and when I started helping, aspiring and like you’re in first time and small business owner entrepreneurs, that’s when I kind of slowed down a little because again, like, you know, I’ve now had so many things on my table. And that’s where breaking the bank five, jail, kind of slowed down in terms of, you know, interviewing mode or whatnot. But at any point, while I was actively running, it never felt like, yeah, you know, what, it’s too big. I can’t handle so yeah, for sure.
David Ralph [36:01]
When you quit your job, your corporate gig, how scared were you?
Devesh Dwivedi [36:07]
I was scared, I was scared, but I knew that this is what needed to be done. Absolutely. Like, you know, there was no doubt in my head for like, you know, for a single moment, even like, you know, I was scared for sure. Because something that I was doing just for fun, now had to be done to earn a living, and he says the ball game, it changes the overall game, believe me, like, you know, it’s a big change. So for sure, when you quit your job, and you you know, like, you know, you’re making a good six figure salary at one of these fortune five companies or bigger consulting firms. The next month, you have to pay for your lifestyle, the kind of house the house, you’re living in the car that you’re driving, like know, your medical, your, this, your dad, your family, and number of responsibilities that you have, for sure. So, you know, now all of a sudden, you have to make money out of what you were just doing for fun, you know, so that, as I said, that changes the ballgame. So it definitely is a scary, but if if you do some like, you know, some I would say for thought for analysis, like you know, before you like you know, before you just jump into it, there is definitely ways how you can minimise that scary, nasty minimise that like you know, that overwhelm, and whatnot. And that’s what I actually help a lot of people with.
David Ralph [37:28]
I think that’s the thing that everyone needs help, it doesn’t need, that, that leap of faith, when you are earning a salary and you have become comfortable, and maybe you want more money, then you know that you’re earning pre, presently. But when you do make that leap of faith, for so many people, it’s a drop down, and it’s a drop down and do did I you know, cancel their gym memberships and their Netflix accounts and all those kind of things, or do a crack on twice as hard to keep it at that that same level playing build that used to. And for a family, I found it when I did that I found it incredibly hard, because my family are used to some sort of lifestyle, and the fact that their dad was going off on a tangent and trying something new, I couldn’t say to the kids, oh, you’re not having this anymore. Now kid, you’re not having bad just because your dad’s trying something different. So did you have a family that you needed to convince? Who was going to support you when you left? Or was you were you a single man?
Devesh Dwivedi [38:28]
So I was single. Um, so for me, I would say, definitely one less thing to worry about was of course, as you said, like, you know, the family approval or, you know, the family obligations that you and many, many folks that like men that are in that situation have, however, again, like, you know, going back to my Indian family background, like know, if you quit your job just out of nowhere, and like nine, tell your parents that you know what, I’m gonna start a business like, you know, they looking for you ladies look at it look at you, like, you know, with the disgust as if like, you’ve gone crazy, they’re like, Ah, so this is 2000 all over again, man, like, you know, you, you want to like, you know, you have such a good job, you’re getting paid, you have a beautiful house, you know, you you should be actually thinking about getting married, settling down, like, you know, start saving towards your retirement, like, you know, having kids all of these things, the important things in life, and now you are quitting after, like, know, all that you have achieved so far. And now that you have a stable platform to like, you know, sort of a launching pad to launch you in real life, right. So that that was for sure. So I definitely had to end in family is a very important part of my life. Absolutely. So I definitely had to please my mom and dad, like know, to, to make them understand know, this is time, like, you know, I am an adult, I do understand I did MBA, I worked for the corporations, as you guys wanted, I understand what it takes, like, you know, to be successful. But this is just not my destiny. Right. So that was definitely there, which I had to go through. So each one of us have a very different situation. In some cases, it’s it’s the family, as you mentioned, in some cases, it’s your parents, as I mentioned, in some cases, it’s a long term, like, you know, family member who you have like an obligation to, like, you know, give medical care to when you have bills that you just cannot ignore. So for each one of us, it’s very different. And that’s where the real, you know, the real understanding of your situation, how you’re going to leverage your situation and your resources, to make the best of it while you are quitting. And while you are making this transition really comes into play.
David Ralph [40:44]
And once you’ve done it, the message out to everyone is, it is scary. There’s no getting away from it. I was, well, I was scared, I was going to say something I shouldn’t men. But I was scared more than I’ve ever been scared before. Quick too much. Because I was in a job that I’d been in for 10 years, there was kind of no chance of me losing it, I was just going through the motions. When I quit, and I left, I started working twice as hard, then I’d previously done, then I realised that what I was working on wasn’t fulfilling me. So I decided to do what I’m doing now doing this show, then I’ve had to work three times as hard as I was doing before. And for a long, long time. I wasn’t bringing any money in at all, from this this venture in any shape or form. It was sucking me dry. But even now, when I look back on it, I still would have done the same thing because I know now but my path is the right path is a unique path. And even if it wasn’t, even if I was doing this on Sunday for Hang on, I can’t do this for the rest of my life, you can change direction. So if you are in a situation that you think I really hate this, I hate the job, I hate the people, hey, whatever, you know, don’t worry about it, just sort out your options and see what’s out there. Because you can always change direction once you’re on a certain path. Do you do agree with that debate?
Devesh Dwivedi [42:14]
Yes, I agree. And and one quick note, I would add there is that, you know, I talked about this in my book as well, I always talk about it, like, you know, to my clients as well, just because you hate your job does not qualify you to be an entrepreneur. You know, because you could be hating your job for a number of reasons. Maybe you have an MBA, but you haven’t found the right job in like not in business and management and you know, things that are strategy, things that you would like to do, you’re still flipping burgers, absolutely, you’re going to hate that job, there’s nothing wrong with that job, it’s you who’s not the right fit there. And same with the opposite. Maybe you’re the guy who was always like, no flipping burgers and absolutely love that, you know, making a good like, you know, a burger, or like not being a chef. But for some reason, like, you know, you moved into the traditional career of like, you know, of getting a grad school degree and like, you know, going to a corporate, you know, setting and now you hate your job. So it could be like a number of reasons that why you hate your job. So just because you hate your job does not mean you should quit and you should start a business. Essentially what it should be is you should understand why you hate your job. What is it that you don’t like? Could it be something else? Could it be another business? Could it be another role? Could it be another position? Could it be another company? So for example, in the five years that I ever been in corporate settings after my MBA, I always thought like, you know, maybe there was something wrong, maybe there is some real good job like No, that would fit me my profile and whatnot. And like and my my nature to be like not to be very frank, not just my my degree or my credentials. So I tried like your different jobs in it in business and the strategy in finances and not for profit. I don’t mean they first started with not for profit. Now you know, what? Not challenging enough. Move to like now banking. Yeah, you know, what, after six months, not challenging enough whatnot. So don’t just like, you know, think that because you hate your job, you shouldn’t start a business. That’s a very key learning, you need to understand in this process.
David Ralph [44:18]
No, I agree with that as well. And the other thing that I always say that if you are in a job, and you like man, well done to you, but don’t just just rest on it, try to do it to the best of your ability, because the more you put into it, the more you’re going to take out of it and you will be happy. I just wasn’t happy end of storey and I had to change path wasn’t happy he had to change path. But if you if you’ve got a storey out there and you’re listening to us rant on, and you think yes, I’m like that I feel a bit like that. Drop us a line on email at contact Join Up Dots@gmail.com and I will personally contact you and if you feel brave enough, we’ll get you on the show. And you can be you can be our listener with a storey similar to the to the two of us. What What do you think about that debate? Should I get more people on the show?
Devesh Dwivedi [45:08]
Absolutely, absolutely. Um, I guess I know it’s you know, as I always say that you can be overeducated, you can be like an overachiever. But you can never be over inspired and what what really, like, you know, inspires me is the storeys like this, like, you know, where a listener everyday guy like you and me, like, you know, comes on the show or like, you know, talks to us over the blog or writes a blog for us or just like, you know, comes on the show and talks about just like New York, and tells us, like know, his or her storey that how they made it happen. Because, you know, it’s very easy to read through the inspirational storeys of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg or like no, and the likes, I would say, like know, all the media darlings, but then people feel high. You know what, maybe they are the chosen ones, they are the privileged ones, you know, and I, I can’t be the Mark Zuckerberg, but when you hear the everyday Joe like, you know, the David Ralph and diverse diversity of the world, you realise, No, you know what, it’s far more achievable than it looks like, you know, I can be happy to while doing what I love and like know, making money that I need or deserve?
David Ralph [46:19]
Yeah, absolutely. You know, if I can do it, anyone can do it really, because I’m the most, I’m not the most techie person, but I’m the kind of most techie person by design, I kind of do just enough to do what I need to do and anything else. I don’t get involved in, in in shape, or form. And if you go back to the sort of the Zuckerberg and the Branson’s, and all those kind of thing, yes, we see the highlights, because we only see them once they become famous, because they’ve succeeded. We haven’t seen when they’re laying on bedroom floors, because they can’t afford a bed themselves somewhere and all the struggles. And when they can’t afford to eat them, eat not eat themselves, that would be a terrible thing to do. But they can afford for a couple of days. You don’t see that, because that’s not the juicy stuff. The juicy stuff is when they’re suddenly making us Quilliam pound a second, and we all look up to them and go by are the chosen ones. But for every one of you out there, potentially you can be a chosen one. But you’re not going to be if you’re just sitting there listening to this and not taking action.
Devesh Dwivedi [47:20]
Yeah, absolutely agree on that. And you know, as they say, every overnight success storey has many years of work behind it, right. So once you become juicy, of course, people are going to listen to you and like know and be like, yeah, you know what, this is the, this is the chosen one. But you can become that by working like, you know, many years or like no months, or whatever it is that your cases like, you know, everyone is different. Everyone got different destination.
David Ralph [47:47]
One of my favourite quotes of all time is by the American comedian, Steve Martin. And I’ve mentioned it numerous times on this show, because it’s so simple. And he just says, becomes so good that people can’t even ignore you. That’s brilliant, isn’t it?
Devesh Dwivedi [48:03]
Absolutely. Absolutely. Right on.
David Ralph [48:05]
I wonder why that the real simple ones are the best. And they’re the most memorable properly, because they’re simple. But I do they have that element of emotion. Don’t need it. When you hear that becomes so good that people can’t ignore you. You think to yourself, yes. If I practice, and I have perseverance, and I work harder than anybody else, something hopefully Fingers crossed. Yeah, you need a bit of luck. But you get more luck by actually putting yourself out there and trying these things, then ultimately, something will happen. And normally, it’s a good thing, that the things that have happened amazing, you know, the fact that I’m having a conversation with you, and you’re in Calgary, I’m just outside London. And until sort about three months ago, it would never have happened. But now we’re connecting, hopefully, we’re building a relationship. And that relationship can sort of branch off to anywhere. But you’ve got to got out there and sent an email, open that spreadsheet, turn their computer on, had a question conversation, asked for help. I could go on and on and on. But you’ve got to do those, haven’t you?
Devesh Dwivedi [49:06]
Yeah, no, absolutely. Once again, I would repeat that whole thing that I said, you know, that journey of 1000 miles starts with one step. So it’s about that action, like know, as you said, like know, starting your computer, opening that spreadsheet, like, you know, it could be anything and help comes from where you expected the least from. So just like, you know, go out and network like, you know, talk to anyone and everyone tell them about your business, when they ask what you do or like know, and soon you will also like, you know, master your business pitch, right? Like, while talking to these people. Okay, so what do you do? And you know, you answered it, you know, a million times and then very soon you have perfected even your business pitch by doing so. So, you know, as I say, just get out get going like, you know, take the first step and then follow the natural path. Because the good thing about action is that, you know, again, going back to Well, no, I didn’t talk about it. So you know how Newton, like know had this. The three formulas are three laws of motion, and one of them was that a body that’s an inertia is not going to get out of inertia unless an outer force is applied on it and the same like no, vice versa, a body in motion cannot be stopped cannot be put into inertia, unless an external force is put on it. Right? So it’s about that first action step. That’s the outer force that that is your persistence or your motivation or like know, whatever you want to call it. This put yourself in motion. And then it’s very hard to stop you without another external force, which is not going to come into play. So unless you physically like you know, think offer, stop it for any reason, it’s unstoppable. Once you take the first step, you you understand the logical next step, you’re like, Okay, yeah, now I need to do this. Once you book a domain, you know, okay, yeah, you know what, now let’s think about getting the hosting or putting a new like, you know, website together, maybe putting a WordPress, whatever. So the next logical steps, step becomes clearer and clearer. Once you take the first and the second and the third step. So it’s about starting taking that first step. What’s your next steps diminish?
My next steps, so absolutely, like no, continue on my journey of like going off helping entrepreneurs like know being more successful, starting more businesses making money doing what they love, what they’re passionate about, and what their priorities are, we already touched upon the priorities, like no could be different for everybody. So my goal always is my next step always is to help more and more entrepreneurs,
David Ralph [51:30]
and how do you find those entrepreneurs? How do these people connect with you?
Devesh Dwivedi [51:35]
Um, so you know, as I said, I follow a very natural and organic way of like, you know, running my business, I don’t go out there like no hard selling myself on any of like, you know, any, any of the offerings that I have. My book is just out there on Amazon and things like that, like, no, so people find me that way. I definitely love the community building around it. So I go out network a lot I go to, you know, one on one, yes, there is a lot of social media, and you can connect with a lot of people. But I still love the old school, going out there shaking hands exchanging business cards, asking people how, like, you know, you can help them asking people what they need help with? That’s for sure. Like, no, that’s something I do, I speak a lot and like, you know, go out to a lot of events. You know, I volunteered to a lot of business organisations here in, in Calgary, that that support entrepreneurs. So I just go out there and network with people. That’s my way of doing business.
David Ralph [52:32]
Well, let’s bring the show to an end by sending you back in time. So and this is part of the show, but we call it a sermon on the mic. And this is when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you did walk into a room and discovered your younger self sitting there, what age would you choose? Would it be the five year old? Who would it be the 20 year old? And what kind of advice would you give them. So I’m going to play the music and when it fades out, you’re on the mic. This is the Sermon on the
Unknown Speaker [53:07]
we go with the best of the show.
Devesh Dwivedi [53:28]
Hi, 14 year old
I would say you need to not worry about anything else, especially not the comic books that you’re about to lose. But definitely make sure like you know you have a system to be successful. Because a business without a system is not going to be successful, it’s going to be at the best thing not a job you will buy for yourself. So just make sure that you have a system around your business. And hey, the bash at 20 year old I would say continue eating well and exercising because you you may have a 24 pack instead of six pack that you have right now. When you are 30 so for sure like no key keep well eat and exercise. That will be my two. And then for also be the 20 year old. I would say avoid business with your friends. Be very careful in setting up expectations. If you’re working with friends, you don’t want to ruin a good relationship, friendship or anything. So make sure you keep the communication open and transparent. Avoid polarising at any cost, and appreciate and express that you do appreciate the help and most importantly, try to manage and not boss around and also partner with friends. All the contradicting to what I just said. Avoid business with your friends, a friend in need is a friend Indeed, this is very important. Friends who stood by you when you needed them are the ones who are going to make you realise how fortunate you are. So for sure, those are some of the lessons for my younger self.
David Ralph [55:03]
And you didn’t even go with and keep away from the models.
Devesh Dwivedi [55:09]
For sure, yeah. So for the 20 year old diverse Yeah, you know what? Yeah, keep away from models do even the attractive ones.
David, I’m married now man says stop digging dirt on me. And
David Ralph [55:21]
I will do I won’t say any more. I won’t say any more Mrs. Unless you email me I’ve been a little. Well, thank you so much for spending time with us today. Join Up Dots diversity, it’s been an absolute delight to have you on the show. Please come back again when you have more dots to join up because I believe the only way to build our future is by connecting our pasts. Thank you so much.
Devesh Dwivedi [55:45]
Thank you, David. Thanks for having me on the show. I absolutely had like no a great fun all the time and like and I appreciate you having me on your show.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.