The Secret of Success

Shekhar was a young man just out of university from an affluent family. He had spent almost a decade doing graduation and post graduation in Economics and studying Management. Perhaps, it took him a little longer than most as his teachers felt he needed to spend a year or two extra absorbing the information and gave him failing grades. His batch mates, who finished in time with gold medals etc, eventually became his lecturers at the university. Finally, Shekhar passed. He bid his batch mates adieu and stepped into the real world of men of trade.

Shekhar applied for many jobs but was not able to find employment. This didnot cow him down. Of course with his brilliant background, any job would not do. It had to be job with a good pay and a good designation. Whenever he went for an interview, he asked,” How soon will I become a manager?” The resultant effect was he never got hired.

Shekhar firmly believed that the world/ the company was not ready for his brilliance.

After a year, Shekhar found he was still unemployed. Then, he decided to write a book,The Secret of Success. The Secret of Success did not start out as a runaway success. He had to pay to have it published. He borrowed money from his father, a rich dentist, for his literary endeavour. He poured money into marketing. He had a launch party in which wine, women and song flowed as smoothly as Strauss’ composition of the same name. He had invited leading journalists, some of who did show up. One of them, Maria Gonzalez, who eventually became a friend of his, thought he was cute and lost, and gave Shekhar’s book a great review. Subsequently, more journalists said the book was brilliant. However, after reading the book most non-intellectual readers found that the secret of being successful had totally eluded their comprehension. Still, the book was a runaway success.

Shekhar started reaping his millions. To invest the money Shekhar decided to open a school that would organise seminars on success for the successful rich. He wanted the rich to do the training as he could demand and get a hefty fee from them and, the successful, as if they were impressed they would give Shekhar limelight and help him become famous. Shekhar had found his initial success through influential friends, who understood his book better than he himself.

Writing the book had been an experience. He actually had to read on the topic. He tried to borrow ideas from well-known management gurus of the day. However, some of them were beyond him. He wrote something…something that drove his editor crazy. But as the editor was a paid employee of the self-publishing firm, he was paid to edit and not turn down books. The editor suggested rewrites extensively. Shekhar gave in to the corrections of the editor completely. However, the editor was still unhappy with Shekhar’s rewrites. Ultimately, the editor was so fed up with Shekhar’s feeble attempts that he rewrote the book himself. The good thing was Shekhar had no ego issues over rewrites and the great thing was most journalists liked the unknown editor’s ideas and writing. The editor remains anonymous to this date as he continues an employee of the self-publishing firm and is not allowed ownership of Shekhar’s work.

So, here was Shekhar, the famous man. He had money and sense enough to know if he didnot grow it, it would eventually disappear. The curriculum of the school was based on his book. Shekhar himself understood very less of the book, even though he was the official author and an intellectual. The curriculum was designed by intellectuals employed by Shekhar. The school started with a hefty fees. The magnates and tycoons were willing to pay through their noses to learn the secret behind success.

Shekhar was smart enough to avoid giving speeches and doing book talks as he was still unable to comprehend the ideas propagated in his book. He invited professors, management gurus etc to conduct talks and workshops. He employed all the gold medallists from his university who had been his lecturers at high salaries to explain his book to the course takers.The gold medallists vied for a job at the institute initiated and run by the class duffer. Shekhar himself only conducted workshops in which magnates and tycoons spoke of their own experiences. And these rich men loved to indulge in megalomaniacal discussions. No one listened to anyone. They only spoke of themselves. Shekhar was hailed as the ultimate guru as he merely stepped in when an argument or fight seemed imminent between the magnates.

His school became a meeting ground for the rich, powerful and famous. It became so popular that he decided to open another branch in a neighbouring town; then, in a neighbouring country…subsequently, in many more countries. He was invited to give talks. He avoided these invitations pleading stage shyness. Instead, he sent members of his gifted team. This was viewed as incentives given to promote the team’s talents.

Shekhar was given a national award… Eventually a very prestigious university in USA gave him an honorary doctoral. It didnot stop at the doctoral. Dr Shekhar Kumar was eventually awarded the world’s most coveted Global Prize for changing lives. In his acceptance speech, all he said was,” Thank you all for thinking so well of me.”

It was deemed a speech full of humility and bigness. People spoke for days of his humility and other sterling virtues.

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