Swarochish Goswami is really passionate about making an impact in this world! He believes that life is about expression and people express themselves in different ways from music to art. He expresses himself through entrepreneurship and businesses are a vehicle for him to make a change in the world. He speaks passionately about education, mental health, youth entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and overcoming obstacles. He doesn’t believe there’s a single thing he can’t reasonably do if he sets his mind upon it and he tries to help others realize that they can too!
Swarochish has been given two nicknames (among other fake ones haha). His family calls him Manu and his friends call him Swish. He is a 19-year-old sophomore from Toronto, Canada studying at the University of Toronto. He’s an award winning serial tech entrepreneur and innovator, UN Youth Ambassador, Huffington Post contributor, early stage tech investor, LinkedIn campus editor, social media personality and TEDx speaker. He is one of the world’s youngest venture capitalist as a Business Development Associate at JB Fitzgerald Venture Capital. In his role he has consulted with Fortune 500 companies on promoting investments in the digital media space. He is currently planning on working in New York this summer and focusing his energy on growing his wearable tech startup Technotronics (in partnership with NBA player Trevor Booker), RafikiMedia, The Next Foundry, and FoodShare. He has “already made a dent on the global entrepreneurial landscape” and has been notably featured on The Huffington Post, Canadian Student Business Review, and Influencive along with notably winning Startup Canada’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, Strategy Magazine’s Social Innovator of the Year, the United Nation’s Outstanding Youth Leadership Award, and Plan Canada’s Top 20 under 20 award. In 2016, he was recognized as the “Face and Future of Canadian Entrepreneurship” by UPS Canada.
Q: How did you get started and what or who inspired and empowered you to?
I got started when I was 7 years old and my father accidentally introduced me to the beauty of business. The reason I say accidentally is because my father originally wanted to get me into engineering, and to do so decided to offer to work with me to build anything I wanted. As an avid fan of space movies, I told my dad I wanted to build a hovercraft. After five months, we had constructed a basic hovercraft that I sold for $200. Instead of becoming fascinated with building a hovercraft (the engineering side of things), I was more interested in selling and marketing the hovercraft. That journey was definitely what put me on a greater journey that I’m on today. So thanks Dad!
Q: What unique and creative strategies if any did you use when you were first getting started?
I was honestly bold in my approach. I’ve never been shy to do most things, and I was definitely not afraid of putting myself out there so that’s what I did. When I started my first non-profit, I walked with my co-founder to over forty private corporations in downtown Calgary to ask for investment. Now in retrospect, perhaps we should have booked meetings in advance, but most of the companies we went to let us in the door, but rejected us on the basis of our age, experience, and/or idea. Despite facing setbacks like that, I was persistent in my approach and continued to cold-call/email investors, set up meetings with people who were playing in the highest leagues, and positioning myself to win. The silver lining to my approach was that despite the fact I was constantly in motion making moves, I was patient and realized that the success of my company or my career even would not depend on work done over one or two days. It’s a process that takes time and respecting the process is one’s best bet to inevitable success.
Q: What mindset distinguished you from others who were doing the same thing? How did you develop it?
I don’t think I am an anomaly, but I do think I acted as one since I was a small boy. I was born in Singapore, and in that environment in order to push ahead, you need to be hungry and have a competitive drive at all times. That is what makes up my mindset — a feeling of competitiveness at all times. This feeling translates itself into actions that I take which are build on my idea of persistence: the combination of hardwork and patience. Hardwork and patience are crucial to my entrepreneurial mentality because it allowed me to build the foundational pieces for success early on in my life. Now I feel like I can put myself out there and continue to motivate others to do the same, because I have built up a philosophy over time that I live by everyday. I am different from most entrepreneurs because rather than thinking that I can become wealthy and then give back to my community, I believe that giving back is a part of becoming wealthy and thus should be a part of one’s journey to success.
The definition of success is rather simple to me. It’s the ability to respond to failure. People who are successful and people who aren’t share one main feature: they both have experienced failure. The people who succeed however embrace failure, don’t let it consume them, and respond to it appropriately. I like my definition because it recognizes that failure is a part of success and that failure is not the end but the beginning to success.
Q: What do you think is the main reason why some people face failure when going after their vision?
The reason why most people face failure when they’re chasing their dream is because they either under prepare or over prepare. When I say under prepare, I mean people who don’t spend time flushing out their vision, and thinking about how to compete with others that might be targeting a similar goal. That is on the opposite end of people who think so deeply about these questions that they never get started or they question every decision they make because they fear failure so much. Failure is inevitable, and along with that, what is also inevitable is the need for you to respond to it. Too many people concentrate on avoiding failure rather than learning how to properly respond to it. So even if you’re able to get by one moment of failure, the reason you might continue to fail is because you truly did not get over the first.
I don’t know if it’s a piece of advice but it’s the most powerful line I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s a quote from Pablo Picasso that reads “the meaning of life is to find your gift; the purpose of life is to give it away”. This quote just makes life simple, which is why whenever there’s too much happening in my life, I shut down for a bit and just think about this quote and the deeper messages behind it (i.e. what is my gift, and how can I give it away).
To view Manu’s amazing work, visit manugoswami.com
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If you would like to read other stories or view my work, visit dukuinspires.com
Originally published at medium.com