I just returned from a trip to the US where my son has started college. This is a momentous occasion for our family since just a few years ago this was nothing more than a dream.
My wife and I are both doctors in Dubai and were able to provide our son with a relatively privileged life. People often assume that because of our profession, funding an expensive American education is easy. How wrong they are!
A college education in the US requires serious financial planning. The only way we were able to achieve that dream for our son was by quitting my job!The only way we were able to fund our son's college education was by quitting my job! Click To Tweet
Four years ago, my wife and I sat down to discuss a financial plan. We realized our jobs would not allow us to save enough for a college fund. I was working my network marketing business part time. Looking at our options, I decided to leave my well-paying job as a senior specialist doctor and focus full time on building my network marketing business.
I felt confident my business has the potential to help me earn enough to support my son through not only an undergraduate program but also the Master’s program in Aerospace Engineering he wants to eventually pursue. Today, four years after that fateful decision, we feel the pride and joy of achieving our dream.
During his orientation program, my son informed us that one of the first few topics addressed by the senior students to the newcomers was How to get through a college-education without getting into crippling debt. The other popular topic was How to focus on education without worrying about where the money was going to come from!
Many students drop out half way due to lack of funding. Others are crippled by student loans for years after they graduate and end up in jobs they don’t really want, simply because they need to pay off those loans.Many students drop out half way due to lack of funding. Others are crippled by student loans. Click To Tweet
One of the seniors remarked that the entire system was a trap—You get into the loan-trap from the moment you step into college, and the only way out is when you head to your grave!
My why for starting a network marketing business was making sure my sons would never fall into this trap. I wanted them to learn for the love of learning and not because the education would add a line in their CV.I wanted my kids to learn for the love of learning and not cause the education would add to… Click To Tweet
Network Marketing Allowed Me to Dream Bigger and Aim Higher
My son is passionate about Aerospace Engineering and his dream is to work in the Design Department of Space X. He wants this not because it would be a well-paying job, but because he is truly passionate about the subject and admires the work Space X is doing in this area.
When I realized how passionate he is about this dream and how important it was to him, here is how I was able to put a plan of action to help him fulfill his dream.
First I got clear on my education and career goals, as related to my wife, my two sons, and myself. Second, I came up with an estimated figure for the amount of money we would need, and the time frame over which we would need it. Then I took stock of our current financial situation and mapped it against my findings. I realized that even if my paycheck multiplied by 10, I would never be able to support our family dreams.
That was my moment of reckoning. I considered how serious I was about these goals. Was I willing to pay any price to achieve them, or was it just wishful thinking? I realized my determination was rock solid.Was I willing to pay any price to achieve my dreams, or was it just wishful thinking? Click To Tweet
I looked at all my options—look for a higher paying job, take up something part time, start a traditional business, start a clinic of my own, get a dealership for a medical device, start a blog which would eventually monetize and help me earn an additional income, start an online medical consulting business during my off-hours, pursue an MBA on the side and eventually work for a large corporation in a management position…
After evaluating the various options, I came to the conclusion that none of them would be easy to fit into my existing schedule, or had the potential to earn the kind of money I needed in the timeframe I had planned.
I was introduced to network marketing by a financial advisor I had known for a short time. Even though our friendship at the time was in its early stages, he was someone I trusted instinctively. With his help, I painstakingly learned the ropes of the business and started building from scratch. The first three and a half years I struggled.
Initially, my wife wasn’t sure I was choosing the right path to our goals, but two events changed her mind. First, my father-in-law who was visiting us from India and heard about the business was immediately convinced that I was on the right path. He played an important role in helping my wife understand the long-term benefits of this business.
Secondly, I took my wife to my company’s five-day annual conference in Indonesia, under the guise of a vacation. She reluctantly agreed to attend one of the five days with plans to spend the rest of the time with friends. Within the first hour of the conference, she was a changed person! As soon as we returned to Dubai, she was the one taking the lead in growing our business. In fact, I credit her with giving my business that tipping point it needed to take off.
Despite the challenges and setbacks, I kept going because my why was strong. Also, I knew that if this didn’t work out, I could always go back to being a doctor. Having that backup plan in mind, I was never desperate and was able to work at my own pace.Despite the challenges and setbacks, I kept going because my why was strong. Click To Tweet
Today my business has reached the point where it is helping me fund my son’s education, bringing him one step closer to his dream—without getting into debt! Thanks to my business, our family dreams are no longer flights of fancy; they have become real, achievable goals.
“Is This for Me?”
One of my greatest challenges was self-belief.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am a confident person with enough self-esteem. But I reached that point through sheer hard work and felt that being a doctor was the only thing I could do. I didn’t believe I would be able to do anything else with my life.
That was before I started my network marketing journey, where I had many successful people coach and mentor me. I met people who were educated in Harvard, and people who were alumni of top-tier institutions such as IIT and IIM in India. Others had been top executives in major multinational corporations. These were people who left their high flying jobs to prove themselves in a business that was very different and frowned upon by many.
They taught me that if I had the ability to be successful in my medical career, I had the ability to succeed in network marketing.
Today, many people tell me, “Dr. Raj, it worked out for you, but I am just not cut-out for this sort of thing.”
My answer to them is, “What are you cut out for? An average, mediocre life with no hope of achieving your dreams?”
It’s not about what you are cut out for; it’s about how big your dream is. If it is important enough, you will put in the hard work required to learn something new. Guess what? You have the potential to make enough money to fulfill ALL your dreams. Would you not be willing to learn something new for your dream?It’s not about what you are cut out for; it’s about how big your dream is... Click To Tweet Would you not be willing to learn something new for your dream? Click To Tweet
“What Should I Do?”
On that fateful day, four years ago when my financial advisor friend introduced me to the business, he asked me only one question: “Doc, If ALL it takes for you to achieve your dreams is a decision you make today to start something new, would you leave it for another day? Or would you start working on it from this moment on?”
He was not pushing me. Rather, he was trying to gauge how serious I was. My conscience did not allow me to let myself down. I told myself, “You made a promise that you would achieve the dreams you set out for your family. NOW is the time to take action.”
I make the decision on the spot, knowing that procrastination is the biggest enemy that leads us to failure. If you are asking yourself, “What should I do?”, my answer is, “Decide and start working today!”
Born and raised in India, Dr. Rajshekher Garikapati lives in Dubai with his surgeon-wife and their two teenaged sons. In addition to being a passionate neurologist, Dr. Rajshekher loves network marketing, reading, writing, and traveling across the globe. His new dream is a road trip across the US in a camper trailer with his friends and family.