Aman Samra and Sheriston Rajendram of Generation Hustle: “Your network is your net worth”

Your network is your net worth — For both of us, many of the opportunities that have been presented to us have been directly related because of our focus on networking. It has given us promotions at work, allowed us to interview entrepreneurs changing the landscape of business, but above all make many new friends As a part […]

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Your network is your net worth — For both of us, many of the opportunities that have been presented to us have been directly related because of our focus on networking. It has given us promotions at work, allowed us to interview entrepreneurs changing the landscape of business, but above all make many new friends

As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Aman Samra and Sheriston Rajendram, the co-founders of Generation Hustle. Generation Hustle focuses on providing educational content by sharing the experiences, failures and methods successful Millennial entrepreneurs and professionals used to grow their business and career. Their guests features already include a Peter Thiel Foundation Alumni, founders who have raised over 300M, a Canadian Gold Medalist and founder of Canada’s largest e-sports venue!

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

The idea behind The Generation Hustle Podcast was completely by chance. We both work in the Accounting/Finance space, however, our interests and passions were in tech and storytelling. Accounting as a function can be mundane, however the business plays that you could make with that knowledge is where the real fun is. At the time, I was thinking of ways to create a platform to curate and showcase interesting stories of success and perseverance in business and I noticed Aman post an article to LinkedIn. It was an interview he had had with a tech start-up entrepreneur and he had transcribed the conversation. So, we got to talking and realized that conceptually we had the same plan — showcasing inspirational stories of young entrepreneurs who were breaking the status quo in whatever industry they were in. The one thing we needed was a medium that was more engaging than the written word. We needed the audience to hear and feel the stories to truly grasp the impact that these individuals were making, which brought us to the idea of a podcast, and we haven’t looked back since.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

The Millennial generation happens to be one of the most innovative yet most burdened with the onset of two major financial crashes, rising student debt levels, lack of financial literacy and increased competition in the workforce. The Generation Hustle Podcast focuses on sharing stories of the successes and struggles of now high achieving Millennials who have beaten these odds! Ultimately, we like to sum it up as weaving a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists — and the movements they built inspiring future leaders, their entrepreneurial passions and future goals, so they too can beat the odds.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Once we started getting responses on interview requests, we were so excited to start filming and jumped at the opportunity to create. Our very first in-person interview was set up with multiple mics and two DSLR cameras in a closed room. Clearly, I was not an audio/visual expert. About half an hour into the interview, I heard one camera die but I kept going since I knew the second was still running. But to be fair, the episode in question was quite possibly one of our most interesting ones to date, as it covered many hot button topics, so I did not want to interrupt the natural flow of conversation. We were stoked!

We later found out that the lens was set to auto-focus and the entire video it kept adjusting and re-adjusting the frame on subtle movements we made in conversation. At least the audio was salvageable, right? It turns out, having three separate mics in one room does not mesh well in processing. The audio track had echoes throughout, the video was out of focus, and our very first attempt was suddenly looking like a disaster. Ultimately, we did get the episode out after we spent endless hours in processing to fix the audio as best as we could, and our guest was extremely understanding about the whole situation.

Needless to say, we learned the importance of doing thorough research and relying on experts where possible. The whole situation could have been avoided with a bit of help along the way, however, I was so focused and excited on starting that I overlooked important details. The devil is always in the details!

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

We can’t choose just one as there have many been mentors along the way who have helped suggest new ways of growing the brand, new topics to share, and making our content better for our listeners. We are thankful that we can reach out to them anytime for suggestions and new introductions to industry disruptors.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

It is difficult to categorize disruptions as either positive or negative. The important factor that needs to be considered is perspective. As humans, we gravitate to concrete distinctions — black or white, good or bad. However, like most things in life, there is always a happy medium. On the surface, disruptors seem to reap the benefits at the expense of those that are being disrupted. However, the truth usually lies in the fact that the disruption only occurred due to mundane continuity that hindered progress.

Let’s take movies as an example. I remember in the late 90s, the king of home movies and entertainment was Blockbuster. But I also remember the late fees, the impatience of waiting for a VHS copy that was in demand but always out of stock, and the weird feeling of having to schedule a good time because you had limited days before you had to return the movie. Fast forward to today and Netflix is undoubtedly the new king. However, people forget that Netflix had initially approached Blockbuster with their idea and was laughed out of the room. So, is Netflix “bad” for ruining our fond childhood memories and bankrupting Blockbuster? Or is Netflix “good” for breaking the stranglehold Blockbuster had on the movie industry? All of this could have been avoided if Blockbuster viewed Netflix as an opportunity to diversify and grow their presence rather than succumb to the status quo. Comfort kills creativity.

On the other hand, the tech boom has brought with it a new reality — eyes on screens. We all know the complaints about smartphones and computers consuming users, creating addictive tendencies, causing mental health issues due to isolation, and the list goes on. All of these are valid side effects of overuse and over-dependence on tech. Our iPhones have calculators so mental math isn’t as important as it used to be. Online dating has allowed us to silently judge others behind a veil and has changed our outlook on relationships. The nature of the internet exposes children to a world of unregulated negative content with so many concerning side effects. In this case, technology and the internet seem like a horrible disruption.

However, would you rather keep a paper map for road trips rather than Google Maps? Would you prefer to wait in line at a bank to pay your bills rather than with a click of a button? During a global pandemic, would you rather avoid virtual communication and have no interactions with your family and friends?

Both examples showcase blind obedience to disruption and blind obedience to continuity, and neither are ideal. Disruption should not be viewed as the destruction of a system, but rather as a shift in perspective. Disruption is the answer to the question: “How can I do this better?”

Ideally, we should all strive to be better in everything that we do but not at the expense of others. If Blockbuster had worked with Netflix, they both could co-exist today. If the industry made a concerted effort to address the negative side effects of technology, we could learn to adjust our habits accordingly and reduce these issues.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

There have been lots along the way, but we feel the following resonate with us the most

  1. Your network is your net worth — For both of us, many of the opportunities that have been presented to us have been directly related because of our focus on networking. It has given us promotions at work, allowed us to interview entrepreneurs changing the landscape of business, but above all make many new friends
  2. Keep on learning — This principle is something we apply daily, as our focus is always to learn 1 new thing related to how we can become a better podcast and or entrepreneurs. It has helped us launch new campaigns, hire interns and grow with little to no marketing spend.
  3. Execute stop strategizing — A mentor once told us a business is 5% strategy and 95% execution. You will fail along the way but when you are applying practices to run your business you learn more versus strategizing and thinking something tangible will come out of just that.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

In the coming months we are launching a library of amazing content formulated by industry leaders, we like to call Gen H University. Topics range from financial literacy, startup financing, interview prep etc. you get the picture. As many of us have experienced we never really learn real life skills in university or college rather the focus is more on theory. We remove that barrier and give tangible examples answering the why, what and how in order to help our listeners become the best version of themselves.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

A book that both of us founders and in fact many of our guests as well, that has had an impact on us is Zero to One by Peter Theil. The book really goes into the fundamentals of what it takes to build a successful company and its where we first learned of the impacts of a concept known as network effects. As professionals who have worked in the tech space, built companies previously and now building a podcast brand we apply many of the principles learned in this book to this day.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Your network is your net worth — For both of us, many of the opportunities that have been presented to us have been directly related because of our focus on networking. It has given us promotions at work, allowed us to interview entrepreneurs changing the landscape of business, but above all make many new friends

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Financial Literacy is the name of the game. Understanding how to manage your personal finances is one of the most important aspects of life, yet one of the least addressed areas in our education. The average consumer views investing as a risky endeavor, while viewing the purchase of a smartphone as a societal necessity. However, for the same price of that phone, you could buy a stock in that phone company and end up with enough money to buy 100 of their phones. We need to start teaching this perspective (among others) at an earlier age and with more depth. This is one area where we want to leverage our podcast and community to give back to the people, so stay tuned!

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram —

Anchor for Podcasts —

LinkedIn —

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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