The Dream: How I Learned the Risks and Rewards of Entrepreneurship and Made Millions
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In reality, though, after marriage her life was no longer her own. From that day forth, she did as she was told.
In , a year after they were married, my parents had their first child, a daughter, Kamal. Two years later, they had another daughter, Nirmal. This was a blow. In India, families want sons. A son is a potential breadwinner. And a son carries the family name and legacy into the future. At this point, my parents decided to put their future in God's hands, and they both became exceedingly spiritual. They made frequent trips to the gurdwara, a Sikh temple, asking for a son, and they even prayed together at home. Finally, late in , my mother became pregnant again, and the following year they had a son, my brother, Taj.
This was one of the greatest moments of their lives. God had listened to their prayers. They had a son!
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They were ecstatic. Then they decided to try again. They thought the family would feel more balanced with two girls and two boys. They knew that perhaps they were being a little greedy, but the heart wants what it wants. Again they went off to various gurdwaras to pray, and again they prayed at home. Again they gave God time to consider their request, and again their prayers were answered. When I came along in , they named me Gurbaksh, which in Punjabi means "a gift from God.
Gift or not, those were unstable times in India. On June 3, , two years after I came along, a group of separatists, looking to create an autonomous Sikh state within India's borders, demonstrated at the Golden Temple, the holiest of Sikh shrines. Indira Gandhi, the prime minister, ordered the army to clear the site, and there were many casualties—most of them Sikhs. To this day, the action is considered an unprecendented political disaster in modern Indian history. My father had often talked about leaving India, and this incident convinced him that he should double his efforts.
Like many Indians, he had his sights set on America, and he began to talk incessantly about leaving. There is no future for a Sikh in India, he would tell anyone who would listen. The country is corrupt. Opportunities are dwindling by the day.
He wanted a better life, if not for himself then for his four children, and he believed that that life existed in America. In , my father applied for a visa through a U. This was partly because my mother was a nurse; then and now, there was a shortage of nurses in the United States. My parents were thrilled, of course.
The dream : how I learned the risks and rewards of entrepreneurship and made millions
They would move to California, where they had a few friends, and they would send for us within a year. My grandmother would stay behind with my two sisters, my brother, and me. After fifteen hours in the air, the plane landed in San Francisco and my parents were met by a friend at the airport. He drove them to his home in Yuba City, a farming community about miles to the north. They could have taken jobs picking peaches, but since they were both educated people they held out for something more.
Not long after, they moved to San Jose, a bustling, melting pot of a city, and for the next few weeks, as they looked for an apartment of their own, they traveled from the home of one acquaintance to the next. It turned into an especially difficult first year for my parents. My father had a tough time finding a job. As a Sikh, he wore a turban and a full beard, and—despite his flawless English—many westerners were put off by his appearance. In due course they saved enough to make the deposit on a one-bedroom apartment on the gang-ridden east side of San Jose: first month, last month, and a security deposit.
In June , my mother finally flew back to India to fetch us, and within days we were on our way to America: Kamal, Nirmal, Taj, my paternal grandmother, my mother, and me. I was a month shy of four at the time, so I don't remember much about the trip or about that first year, but before long I began to adapt to life in the New World.
On weekday mornings, when my parents went off to work and the older kids left for school, I stayed behind with my grandmother, Surjit Kaur.
Having spent much of her lifetime in the field, picking red peppers and chilies to support herself and her only son, a one-bedroom apartment in America was nothing to complain about—despite the fact that she was afraid to venture beyond the front door. Every morning, after the house emptied out, she would park me in front of the TV, where I watched Barney and other similarly hypnotic shows.
Then I'd wander into the kitchen to watch her cook—she prepared Indian food every day since it was all she knew—and before long my siblings would drift home from school, often in tears. My oldest sister, Kamal, had just turned thirteen, an awkward age under any circumstances, but particularly difficult for a recent immigrant.
My brother, Taj, was subjected to much of the same. A quiet, unobtrusive boy, he was not fond of attention, but it was hard to hide under the patka he'd been wearing since age five. By the time I was sent to kindergarten, I had a vague idea of what I could expect, and I was terrified. Unfortunately, my fears were immediately confirmed.
Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — The Dream by Gurbaksh Chahal. Pablo F. One of America's most successful young internet entrepreneurs tells his unique and inspiring story, and reveals the risks and rewards behind the sky's-the-limit possibilities of internet entrepreneurship.
Gurbaksh Chahal started the Internet advertising company ClickAgents from his bedroom at the age of 16, having emigrated to the United States with his Sikh family from the One of America's most successful young internet entrepreneurs tells his unique and inspiring story, and reveals the risks and rewards behind the sky's-the-limit possibilities of internet entrepreneurship. Gurbaksh Chahal started the Internet advertising company ClickAgents from his bedroom at the age of 16, having emigrated to the United States with his Sikh family from the small town of Tarn Taran, India.
In The Dream , Chahal's refreshing advice for entrepreneurs encourages them to embrace risk and to carve out new niches in the marketplace. He emphasizes the value of good business timing: how to execute an idea and get it to the marketplace, how to create and maintain solid business relationships, how to stay grounded, and -- most importantly -- how to teach yourself that failure is not an option. Chahal's story not only shows how a year-old immigrant overcame discrimination and adversity to fulfill his highest ambitions, but also provides aspiring entrepreneurs with valuable hands-on advice on how to achieve success.
Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Dream , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4.
Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Oct 17, Loy Machedo rated it really liked it. He was impeccably dressed and looked exceptionally smart. That lead me to Google him and when I found out he had a book about his life, I purchased it immediately. Typical of any foreign culture versus immigrants experience, Gurbaksh experienced racism and discrimination for his lifestyle and his appearance those days he sported a turban.
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Then from the Stock Market, to experiments with the dot. What I personally loved about the book was his Hunger, Honesty and Humility by which he communicated everything about him in a Helpful manner. Compared to what Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki or Dave Ramsey would do — G does use his memoir to beat his chest, advertise himself and make himself look larger than life. In fact he does just the opposite. He shows himself as he is — vulnerable, Scared and lacking in experience.