Yesterday I watched a candid interview by David Rubenstein, the founder of the private equity firm Carlyle. Now, let me state at the onset that I am NOT the kind of person who watches a candid interview by David Rubenstein, the founder of the private equity firm Carlyle. Or any famous personality on Wall Street or the overall alien world of finance. People have pleaded with me to watch Warren Buffet’s interviews, but I had held my ground: movie stars, yes, politicians may be, sportsmen, obviously, writers, definitely.
But investors/bankers/economists/analysts? No.way. That’s work, and I have a very clear demarcation between work and passion, but as per Mr. Rubenstein, that’s a mistake. For someone who started his career as a lawyer, then having royally failed, moved on to a life of a public servant, and finally after a not-so-successful stint in White House (as he admitted bluntly, it was very hard to push up inflation to around 19% in the U.S., but he managed to do that), when he had exhausted all other options, he started his private equity business at the ripe old age of 37! For someone who was as successful as he was, he came across as a remarkably humble, down-to-earth and unpretentious person, with a quirky, self-deprecatory sense of humour that kept me hooked through the 45-minute interview.
Yes, I agreed with him when he said, to be really successful, you have got to love what you do.
Yes, I agreed with him when he said that successful people didn’t begin with the objective of making money. Money will come, as long as you are passionate about your work, you work hard and you build relationships.
Yes, I agreed with him when he said that the best time to find your calling is between 28-37, when you have seen enough of the world and yourself to know what you want, but still young enough to take the plunge and make a new beginning.
And yes, I was inspired: does that mean from tomorrow I would start loving banking and religiously tracking the markets? Of course not! Does that mean from tomorrow, I would give up my job, and fulfill my parents’ dream of borrowing money from rich people, promising unrealistic returns on their investment? Not really! Does that mean that from tomorrow, I would begin watching motivational interviews by famous people? Hell, why not!
But the point is while it may not change my life drastically or immediately, while I may not suddenly develop a passion for finance and while I may continue to rot in my present meaningless existence, what it does mean is that the continuing itch in the back of my mind would only become stronger, that each day I would be closer to giving it up and putting all my savings into a six-month trip to Latin America/Africa and that every moment I spend writing a research report, I would be nearer to writing my first book.
And that’s reason enough to go on, reason enough to slog for that month-end pay-cheque and reason enough to smile in anticipation.
And oh, the link to the interview was sent by my boss: I wonder if there was a thinly-veiled message in that…