The other day I was invited to the Founder’s Day of MAC charities. At the function, awards were distributed to people who have made their mark in the field of Tamil literature and also business and entrepreneurship. Ramprasad Gurunathan – a young, first-generation entrepreneur who runs a billion-dollar business, Milestone Metals Inc in the USA — won the award for excellence in first-generation entrepreneurship. Success was not easy for him. His first venture did not yield profit. But he was not bogged down by failure. He waited for a second chance. This time he ventured into an entirely new and unusual field – scrap metal trading. Now his company is so successful that its annual revenue is over $80 million and it is ranked as one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States by Inc. magazine. Was it hard work or did he get lucky? Or was it because he believed in a second chance? Going by what he said, it must be the last. Talking about his success Washington Post stated, ‘Second chances are everything. Henry Ford failed with his first motor-car company. F W Woolworth’s first store was a bust. The Forbes 400 billionaire list is full of risk takers who had multiple failures before becoming some of life’s winners. Ram Guru, 44, is a Fairfax entrepreneur who failed at a medical billing business before he became rich trading scrap metal.’ So there are people out there who do not get disappointed by failures, but wait for another chance and are willing to take risks and use opportunities for their benefit.
We do not succeed in all our attempts and I assume we need not bother much about that. But what we do when we do not succeed matters a lot. When things do not go the way we want, do we analyse where we went wrong, find remedial measures, try other things or feel sorry for ourselves and sulk? What we should realise is that what is done is done. We can’t redo or undo things. The only option we have is to learn from our mistakes and move forward. How many of us do that is the question. ‘In life we have to size up chances and calculate possible risks and our ability to deal with them, and then make our plans accordingly,’ said Freya North, a British writer.
There are people who say that we should not wait for second chances. American writer C JoyBell is one. She says, ‘A lifetime isn’t forever, so take the first chance, don’t wait for the second one! Because, sometimes, there aren’t second chances! And if it turns out to be a mistake? So what! This is life! A whole bunch of mistakes! But if you never get a second chance at something you didn’t take a first chance at? That’s true failure.’ However, we should understand from her words that we need to try hard and even if we fumbled we should not allow failure to affect us.
We should also learn to give others a second chance. They are people and they do make mistakes. By giving them a second chance we show that we care for them and we give them an opportunity to correct themselves. They will try to live up to your expectations as you have given them another chance to prove themselves. ‘People do make mistakes… But they should be forgiven and given the opportunity for a second chance. We are human beings’. – David Millar, the road racing cyclist.