After surviving a car crash in January 1998 that left me with an 80% brain disability, we defeated the limiting diagnoses of various Doctors and made a full recovery. While recovering, we read for a Law degree and then a Postgraduate Diploma in Investments, Insurance and Tax. After graduating Top of the Class on a Graduate Development Program, we went on to work at Barclays Capital in London. As an Investment Banker, we raised a Billion Dollar Bond for the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority. People asked us how we turned our life around so quickly, and specifically how we got to the point of financial wellness. Most assumed that we had made it by playing the stock markets, trading complex financial instruments like derivatives, gilts and forex. But it had nothing to do with that.
We were fortunate or lakhi, to grow up in a family of Entrepreneurs that took money seriously. Success was measured by money. Wealth was measured by money. Money was not everything, it was the only thing.
One of our Uncles, Uncle Z, was an entrepreneurial genius. At eighteen, he bought a food franchise and by twenty-two made his first million bucks. During this time, he also started multiple grocery stores, and by twenty-three, sold all his businesses and used the capital to fund his next venture, in manufacturing, This was during the late eighties when biscuits were a niche food enjoyed by the rich. Traditionally, it was presented in attractive packaging and sold at high prices. Instead of putting a few cookies into a one hundred gram box and selling it to rich people, Uncle Z differentiated himself by baking similar cookies, put it into a five kilogram bag, cut out the bells and whistles like chocolate and raisins, added nutritional value to it, made a little less profit per biscuit than the traditional heavyweights were making and selling it to the mass affluent market. He also recognized, realized and discerned that to scale his business up and make a lot of money quickly before competitors started replicating his model, otherwise known as the “principle of diminishing return”; he would need to manufacture huge volumes and sell it to customers with big distribution networks. Naturally, he did that, he did it quickly, he did it diligently, he did it with a growth mindset, and by the age of thirty, sold his business for one hundred and sixty million bucks to a business on the stock market.
Shortly thereafter he bought a car franchise. He partnered with another Entrepreneur who had big government and corporate networks and instead of selling one car at a time, he was selling one hundred cars at a time.
In terms of our Rules of Money in The Isaac Lakhi® Mi2C Success Framework, the 10th Rule of Money is The Law of Differentiation. It states that whatever you do, you need to make uniqueness central to your value proposition. People need to be able to identify your brand, that you are different, a game-changer and a maverick. If you are not different, your business has no right to exist. Differentiated businesses are sometimes borne out of difficult situations, that are led by extraordinary Entrepreneurs, Mavericks, and Innovators like Uncle Z, Sayed Mia, and Richard Branson that refuse to run in other people's races. They play by their own rules and run their own race. He was diligent, humble, had a growth mindset, was highly focused, resilient, adapt to change, gave back to the communities that he operated in, was an Innovator, had guts, took bold decisions, and wasn’t afraid to make mistakes.
Excerpt from Highway to Heaven, Isaac Lakhi’s best-seller. To learn more about our FREE 5day Coaching & Mentoring Challenge, click here.