Shiv Khera used to wash cars for a living
Pay attention to the guy who washes your car. If motivational speaker Shiv Khera’s story is something to go by — a car washer could potentially travel 20 countries, inspire corporate honchos and write a bestseller. The 47-year-old who hails from Bihar, and is best known for his book You Can Win, will be in Chennai after a long hiatus this weekend. As always he’s abounding with life lessons aplenty that cover everything from how youngsters can prevent burnout to positive habit setting like writing one’s goals down. From New Jersey to namma Chennai, here’s a glimpse of the story behind a man who turned his world around by “seeing the opportunity in the problem”. Extracts from the interview:
How did you go from car washer to motivational speaker?
Since I had lost my ancestral business in India and didn’t have a specific qualification in any field, I did not have much choice but to start life from ground zero. Washing cars was the only thing that came my way accidentally. Going door-to-door looking for customers to wash their cars was not easy either. While washing cars during the day time, I started selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door in the evening. Later, totally by accident, I got into selling life insurance. At that time, I saw an advertisement in the newspaper, Dr Norman Vincent Peale was coming to town. I attended his programme with borrowed money.
Clearly it was worth the loan.
I would say that was one of the turning points in my life. The message I received that day was that a problem is a sign of life. The bigger the problem we have, the bigger the opportunity. This was also when I realised that somebody had showed me direction and it was time to give back. So I started volunteering my time at maximum security prisons in the US and teaching attitude and self-esteem programmes in jails.
"Most people have dreams and they think they have goals. The difference is that a goal is a dream with a deadline."
You Can Win was published in 1998. That’s almost two decades ago. Is there a 2.0 version on the way?
I have a new book in the pipeline on the lines of You Can Win, set to be released in September. It is going to be another unique book addressing day-to-day issues with practical solutions.
What is the difference between success and happiness? So often people confuse one for the other.
True success implies happiness. I have never seen unhappy people successful and happiness includes maintaining a balance between family, work, physical health, emotional, spiritual and financial parts
of our lives. Some measure success only in terms of financial worth. The most bankrupt person in the world is the one who has a great bank balance, but has poor relationships and loses
The You Can Win Workshop will be held at The Raintree, Anna Salai on June 17. Timings: 9.30 am to 1 pm. Registration fee: Rs 6,900. Tickets: eventjini.com