The Key to Success, How Sadhguru earned money in early days – Sadhguru Tips
Speaker: The question is how can we translate Gita, the philosophy of Krishna, into augmenting business in India?
Sadhguru: I have not read the Gita, so I really have not. I’m sorry, because, for me my own vision has never failed me. So I always kept away from all scriptures because I didn’t want to clutter myself with something or the other. The only thing that I learnt and I continue to do is, if I look at something if I look at a person, I know their past, present and future. That is the level of attention I’m paying to them.
I don’t look at like this, when I look I look at it completely with all that I have. If you pay enough attention there is nothing that will not yield.
So I never had any reason or need to go looking for scriptures or something.
With all, with all respect and regard for them, it is not that I am averse to it; it’s just that I have not had the time.
How this whole process started is, when I was very young I realized that I just don’t know anything. See, if you realize that you do not know, if it’s a full-scale realization that you do not know anything, paying attention will be natural.
Because you know everything – ah, you know this guy, you know this, this, this, this, this; there’re assumptions and assumptions and assumptions. Well, I have used it in a different way but even if you’re doing business even it’s for business purposes the only reason why one human being seems to be all the opportunities seems to be going in his direction and not other people, is simply because he is able to see and other people are not able to see.
It’s not that it’s not there for others. One is able to see and others are not able to see.
Who is a leader?
So essentially a leader means that you are able to see something that others are not able to see. So attention without intention; simply being attentive that’s what we were trying to do in the afternoon; not paying attention to something, just practicing attention, a very heightened level of attention, where an unfocused attention but when you focus it on something, just about anything has to yield. There is no other way to that attention. So I always focused on enhancing and sharpening my attention, never on retention because what you gather is not you.
Essentially you know that you exist only because you have some sense of attention right now, isn’t it? Suppose you fall asleep and you lose your attention, you do not even know that you exist.
Basis of Existence
So the basis of your existence itself is attention. And this attention need not be mortgaged to anything. You just have to sharpen the attention. See, if you have a knife in your hands there is no such thing that you have to cut only apples with this. If you have a sharp enough knife, you could cut anything that you want. But the important thing is the knife is sharp enough.
So if your attention is keen enough not for something or the other – if your attention has become very keen; if you wish to do a certain type of activity you can successfully do it.
Sadhguru’s Enterprise- Sadhguru made money by catching snakes
I think I must say something about my own enterprises at one time. My enterprise started when I was eight years of age. Because of a strange kind of pride in me, I wouldn’t I never, ever took a single rupee as a pocket money from my parents.
I started making money when I was six, seven years of age. By eight I was quite an accomplished entrepreneur. Simple things even today I’m known in Mysore because I caught snakes in everybody’s houses. If I caught a snake, they gave me twenty-five rupees.
In 1960s, twenty-five rupees is a million dollars for a seven-year old, eight-year old kind. I was just on top of the world. So there is a food research institute – CFTRI every Saturday afternoon I went there. I caught four, five snakes.
They measured it. I have to show it to… like this. If it’s over three feet, I get fifty rupees. Less than three feet, I get twenty-five rupees. On an afternoon I would make hundred to hundred-and-fifty rupees. I don’t know if you can imagine – hundred and fifty rupees for a eight, ten-year-old kid in 1960s or 70s was like a million dollars today. It was big and I went to so many things; just about anything that came my way. I should tell you a little enterprise that I did which grow into… grew into a big business.
After my university where I learned nothing- but I passed The only thing was by then I had crisscrossed India on my motorcycle and I suddenly realized when I went to the borders of India, they asked me for something other than my driving license.
I did not even know that there was a passport. See, it’s not like today.
Today every child may be three-year old, four-year-old kid knows he has to have a passport;
I’m in my twenties but I do not know that I need a passport.
I went to the border and then they said, ‘Where is your passport?’ I said, ‘What? I have a driving license.’ They said, ‘No, you need a passport.’ Then I turned back from Nepal border and came back on my motorcycle. So my only dream was I am going to just ride across the world.
Sadhguru in Farming
So I wanted to do something. I started kind of farming, commercial farming. I was making money.
I thought I will do for two years and leave. But in the meantime my entrepreneurship took off in so many different ways. Like this I went about and then there was some there was a industry coming up close-by; they wanted to build a water treatment plant.
I happened to know the person who was running the industry. I just went there and I wanted to meet him. I was sitting in his office. They were discussing something about a water treatment plant. I just heard this and they were looking at the drawings and stuff.
Then I asked, ‘Can I apply, can I do this? Because it’s close to my farm, can I do this?’
He said, ‘No, no this is very complex. There are some experts from Mumbai and Bangalore who will come and do it. You cannot do it.’ I said, ‘Give me a chance. Let me see.’ I took the file from him. I went and read through everything. Then I went back to him after three days and said, ‘I can do this.’ He said, ‘Don’t you do this. You’re my friend. I don’t want to do this.’ ‘No, just let me give a… you know the tender.’ So I, you know, those days there was something called as Nava Karnataka book stalls. They were selling only the Russian books. You used to get big literature books. You can get Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace for two rupees and engineering books for one rupee, two rupees – all hard bound books.
Sadhguru learning about water treatment plant
I bought ten books about water treatment plant. Sat down in my farm and poured through this day and night. I made my own new design. I went there and I gave a tender for one point seven-six lakhs, mind you this is seventies. And the closest tender was thirty-two lakhs; the highest tender was over sixty lakhs.
He looked at this and said, ‘You are funny. You’re not going to do this.’ I said, ‘No, I can do it.’ He said, ‘No way you can do it. Look at this, the nearest tender is thirty-two lakhs and you’re saying one point seven-six lakhs. How will you do it?’ I said, ‘Give me one more day.’ I went back again and poured through the books.
I said, ‘I’ll do it.’ Then he said, ‘It’s ninety days you must finish this and it must work. If it doesn’t work, at your own cost you must remove it. Clean the site and go and I will not give you a rupee of advance.’ I again went and poured through the books.
I said, ‘I can do it.’ I completed this in a… little over seventy days. I did this in ninety plus thousand rupees. In one shot I made eighty thousand rupees just like that. People thought this is a hit.
There my construction industry started. Raja Ramanna was coming for RMP plant. He is just coming in a helicopter to see where the site is. There is no, anybody there. I just went and met this engineer. He says he was breaking his head, ‘I don’t know what to do, I have to mark the site.’
I said, ‘I have got pegs and white cloth. I will just go and mark the site for you.’ I marked it.
They paid me thirty-eight thousand rupees for a fifteen minute job. I went on my motorcycle and just fixed it myself. Like this my enterprise started and we grew into a major construction company.
Why Sadhguru left all his enterprise
We were going very big but then I got enlightened. So I gave up.
Speaker: Thank you… thank you Sadhguru for sharing that story.