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Life Hacks Taught By My Dad

Deep Malhotra, co-Founder of and Gemini Group, talks about the many life hacks taught to him by his father.

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Post adolescence, one of the most complex relationships that a man shares is with his father. More so in India where a father-son relationship is usually a nervous one. The reason for this is that kids who are born during the 80s have seen so much change in their lifestyle and their general outlook towards life is very different from their dads, who have had a very guarded childhood. This is where the disconnect starts from, and then builds on. Well, mine was a similar relationship with my dad, where we didn’t agree on most things. But that didn’t bother us much as our paths never crossed (on purpose) since I didn’t want to join the real estate business. The one that he built from scratch and was happy on the other side of the spectrum, working with global companies. But the way destiny would have it, I had to land in his space and we were in the middle of chaos, handling each other’s expectations. The next couple of years were not easy as we had a completely different approach in doing things. But as I spent more time with him, I got to know him as a person and the experience of working with him taught me many life hacks.

How you see yourself is more important than how people see you

A pawn needs to see himself as a king before the world sees him like one. My dad started off with humble beginnings, but as a family we’ve always had a royal life. We never felt that we were going through a struggling time even if reality was different. It was his larger than life attitude that made him do things for the family which maybe wasn’t affordable at that time.

Be persistent, as it takes time to build a stable business

He used to always say this “It takes at least 1000 days to build a stable business and you have to be persistent to take the business through the rough path.” My dad didn’t have many passions, but the only passion he had was his work. But it wasn’t the passion for the work that helped him build the business but the persistence of not letting it go.  I feel that if you put passion and persistence in a boxing ring, persistence will always win. Because passion would just love to fight but persistence won’t know how to give up on the fight.

Don’t take failure to your heart

This one quality of my dad which I feel if I can imbibe, will help me a lot. He was a person who never flinched even when he had put years of effort into something and ultimately it didn’t go his way. He would never take that setback to his heart and just continue working full steam ahead nevertheless. We should understand that in the process of building your dreams you may go through detours that can be nightmares, but one should get up and continue working towards that dream.  The fun is to start rewriting your story when you are being written off.

When you play the odds with a backup plan, it’s not risk but a smart business move

When I look back and try to understand certain investments he made in certain projects, it amazes me. He invested in projects which seemed very risky at that time and also the money required for them at that time was not available. But that didn’t deter him to take the plunge, as he always had an exit plan in case everything fell out of place. He truly knew the art to make money when you have no money.

Kill the ego before it kills your good work

When it was anything related to work, my dad never had a ego. He never let ego come in the way of getting any work done. Even if that means a phone call to someone he didn’t see eye to eye; if it was something related to work, he wouldn’t shy away to call that person. Because, for him, it was work and that was at a higher pedestal than ego.

My advice to everyone reading this: Beyond all the arguments and disagreements that you have with your dad, make sure you learn from their experience in life, as that will help you build your life better. I think I am very lucky to work with my dad closely after being exposed to my corporate journey. The experience of working with him for all these years taught me a lot and I owe all my success in business to him. And I am sure if he was there today, we’d still have lot of arguments and disagreements, which I miss. As those discussions helped me learn so many things from him. Love you DAD!

Deep Malhotra is the Co-Founder of and Gemini Group.