Rags to Riches

What made an Illiterate a Millionaire in 10 years?

Rags to RichesSometime  during  May  2005   when  I was  entering  Kanyaparameshwari temple with my family, a young boy greeted us with a welcome smile. That was the first time I saw that boy.

One glance and I could gauge  that  he  was  about  16  or  17  yr old and wasn’t very well off.

But his smile was magical and at the same time, very natural and my suspicious mind could not accept it.

For a minute  or  so  I  wondered  as  to why a stranger should welcome us with such a warm smile.

When we came out of the temple, I couldn’t see him and soon forgot about him.

Following Friday,  we  visited  the  temple  again.  That  boy greeted us with the same warm smile. I smiled back and went inside the temple.

This went on for about 4 weeks. Not being able to  contain  my curiosity, during my next visit, I spoke to the boy and got to know his background.

His name was Muthu. He was an orphan and an illiterate.  He  was working for a banana merchant near Krishnagiri

in Tamilnadu.

About 3 months ago, the fruit merchant had succumbed to a severe heart attack and died.   Thus, Muthu had to look for some other source of income. A tempo driver brought him to Bangalore to help him find a job.

During the course of my conversation with him, I could see that the boy was very  sincere,  well mannered and had a very charismatic personality which compelled me to help him.

I asked Muthu, “Why don’t you start selling bananas and make a living out of it?”. Over the  years, I have understood one important aspect of success – If a person does things that he is good at and, more importantly, if it is aligned with his passion, he is sure to succeed.

I used that  same  logic  in  helping  Muthu.  He  said  he  wouldn’t  mind  any  kind  of  work  as  long  as  he  can  live comfortably and in peace. But he had no money.

I offered to lend him  some  money  to  start  and  told  him  that  he could repay me at his convenience. Surprisingly, Muthu refused saying that he will work elsewhere and save money and then start his fruit-selling business.

That further made me sympathetic towards him and strengthened my urge to help him.

Despite his refusal I gave him enough money to start his business, because I believed that he had it in him.

Before  he began, I only taught him few  important aspects of money management:

  1. How to create a cash flow statement and  compulsorily  close  &  tally  the  day’s transactions before he went to bed.
  2. How to create a budget and stay within that.
  3. As his net worth was zero as on that day,  He  should  focus  on  increasing  his  net worth on a day to day basis without break. To start with, at least by a single rupee for the first few days.

In a short span of 10years, Muthu  completely  turned  his  life around. The reason for his success lay in the fact that regardless of what he earned, he never forgot the three important lessons I taught him initially.

Today he is a millionaire and he earns a passive income of  1.5 Lakhs on an average every month.  He is now happily married and has two children. He owns 3 fruit shops in Bangalore and is soon planning to expand open 2 more.

Being the kind-hearted fellow he is,  Muthu  also  aids  helpless  unemployed  youngsters.  He  hires and trains them.

This way he not only helps them have a livelihood but also expands his own business.

It is evident from Muthu’s life that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to become a millionaire. All one needs is the right kind of attitude, knowledge and guidance at the right time.

These attributes vary from person to person. Strategies that worked for  Muthu  will certainly work for everyone. But these strategies are situation-specific and therefore one needs a successful  financial planner to know where and how apply them.

Muthu’s strategy was one of the many pillars of success devised by me. There  are close to 10 pillars which guarantee success. Stay tuned for lot more.

I wish Muthu and all a happy and joyous life.

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