After the episode, I found myself on Google researching about ‘G’ (as his friends call him). There was no shortage of jaw dropping facts about G that returned. To list G’s entire career milestones wouldn’t be a small task; below I have listed a few to illustrate why G soon became my inspiration and idol in business: (content below extracted from about.me/gchahal & Wikipedia).
• At the age of 16, Gurbaksh dropped out of high school to pursue his dream as an entrepreneur and started his first company, ClickAgents. It was one of the first ad networks focused around performance based advertising. Eighteen months later, he sold it for $40 million to ValueClick.
• In January 2004, Gurbaksh founded his second company, BlueLithium, this time with an insight into sophisticated new ways that data, optimisation and analytics could help web advertisers with behavioral targeting. BlueLithium was named one of the top 100 private companies in America for three years in a row by AlwaysOn, and in 2006, it joined Google, Skype and Salesforce.com in being named Innovator of the Year. In 2007, Yahoo acquired BlueLithium for $300 million in cash.
• At 29, Gurbaksh is already leading his third online ad company, RadiumOne. RadiumOne has created a new category of real-time advertising through its innovative Dynamic Audience Platform (DAP) that leverages real-time social interaction from data across the Open Web. Its patent-pending ShareGraph™ technology also amplifies seeds and social interaction signals to continually expand target audiences via 12 billion RTB ad impressions they access every day.
Awards & Recognition
• 2006: AlwaysOn Top Innovator of the Year
• 2010: Anokhi Awards, Excellence in Digital Entrepreneurship
• 2010: BusinessWeek, Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs
• 2010: Pace University, Leaders in Management Award
• 2010: Darpan, Extraordinary Awards - International Sensation
• 2010: MensXP, X51 - India's Most Influential Business Man of the Year
• 2011: Most Influential CEO - Under30CEO
• 2011: Forbes Greatest Risks
• 2012: Light of India Awards 2012: People's Award for Excellence in Business Leadership
• 2012: Light of India Awards 2012: Amrapali Award for Entrepreneur of the Year
Gurbaksh's success as an entrepreneur has also been noted in The New York Times, Entrepreneur magazine, Forbes and BusinessWeek. He has also been profiled on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Bonnie Hunt and EXTRA.
From Tweeting to a 1:1 Meeting…
After seeing G on Secret Millionaire USA, it didn’t take me long to order his book ‘The Dream’. I was excited when it had arrived and started reading right away. I was totally engrossed by G’s story that I had completed reading this truly epic biography, loaded with some of the soundest business advice, within 48 hours.
I am an avid user of social media platforms and hence took the liberty of following G on Twitter to keep up to date with his current company’s (RadiumOne) product line, some of which I currently use, such as Po.st – The only social sharing platform that generates revenue for your website, and also Via.me – A cross platform social sharing tool, where you can share video; pictures; sound, and status updates.
Occasionally I tweeted at G, however, I was overwhelmed when I received a tweet back wishing myself and my business partner the best of luck in our business venture. It felt like an amazing achievement, that my efforts to be noticed by such a high profile business icon. It didn’t stop there though, over the next 6 months or so, like many of G’s devoted followers I continued to tweet at G around various subjects, and was beginning to receive replies on various occasions. If anything this showed me another quality that G has, that even as a high profile business icon, he was still taking time out to respond to the general public. This in itself was inspiring.
RadiumOne has HQ’s in various locations including London. It came to my attention that G was on business travel visiting the RadiumOne HQ’s in April this year. At the time it seemed a long shot, but as they say ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’. I asked G if he had time to meet me whilst on his travels in the UK. I then received a reply informing me that he would be meeting a group at the Sanderson Hotel in Westminster. The timing of it all meant I had 1 hour to travel 140 miles south to London. Of course this was impossible and I was gutted that I had missed my chance to meet him. G had also informed me that he was in the UK for a few more days. I took one last shot on Tuesday 1st May at tweeting G to ask if he was able to meet as he was due to leave the UK on the 2nd of May.
Luck was on my side when G had tweeted back offering to meet me at the Sanderson around 6.30pm. Four hours to reach London, I didn’t hesitate to get in my car right away and make my journey down south. I had arrived on time, and shortly after my arrival I found myself stood in front of my biggest inspiration in business today. I expected to be very nervous but G was extremely laidback and I felt as if I was conversing with a good friend. G took the time to ask me about my business, and to no surprise gave me some absolutely fantastic advice. The whole time I was overwhelmed by the whole experience, it would never have occurred to me in my wildest dreams that after seeing G on Secret Millionaire, 8 months later I would be stood in front of him talking about business and making general conversation.
Tops tips & advice from ‘The Dream’, and my meeting with G…
• “Life is about choices, and you can’t make everyone happy, so at some point you have to learn to live for yourself.”
• “Always surround yourself with people who want you to succeed. That seems simple on the surface, but when you get out there, in the real world, you will discover that most people are rooting for you to fail. Stay away from them.”
• “Don’t chase the money. Chase substance. If you have substance, the money will follow.”
• “Their attitude was: Don’t fix it if it’s not broken. Mine has always been: Fix it before it breaks.”
• “If you genuinely want something, don’t wait for it-teach yourself to be impatient.”
• “Share your success with your family first, moments with family are limited and priceless.”
• The road to success is paved with failure. If you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never succeed.”
The above are just a few of the inspiring words of wisdom from Gurbaksh Chahal. Readers of this article looking for inspiration in business. Whether you are young or old, have a new business or existing. I would strongly recommend reading ‘The Dream’. It has certainly put me on the path to living mine.
I dedicate this article to my family who have shown me full support and to Gurbaksh Chahal – CEO RadiumOne who inspired me to ‘live the dream’.