Innovative Minds From Farming to Fortune: From Farming to Fortune: The Inspiring Journey of a 14-Year-Old Entrepreneur

14-year-old Seth Banerjee stared up at the skyscrapers in awe. He had traveled from the Chittagong Hill Tracts and left behind the family business cultivating mangoes and papayas. The business was growing, but Seth yearned for more. He wanted to build something of his own. He didn’t want the anxiety that came with farming, being at the mercy of the weather, crop yields, and other fickle aspects of Agrarian life. He had a little money saved up, not much really, and only the clothes on his back. But he was determined to make something of himself. To one day build a big house that all his grandkids could play in.

15 years later Seth was working in one of the skyscrapers he’d once gazed up at. He’d worked three jobs for years, putting in 16 to 18-hour days, saving every cent. He demonstrated his ambition, his hard work, but most of all, his intelligence, and gradually he worked his way up the ranks. Eventually, he founded his own company “Innovative Minds PVT. LTD.” 

Dozens of young men and women were under his employ. And after successful seed funding became even more successful in Series A and B funding, an IPO was launched with buyers from financial institutions in the UAE and other sovereign wealth funds. Seth soon became one of the richest men in India.

Following the IPO, Set took a three-week vacation. He tried to enjoy the white sands of Vagator Beach in North Goa. But for days, something nagged at him. He brushed aside the unease and tried to enjoy himself. However, less than a week into the vacation, Seth fell to his knees inside a restaurant, convinced he was having a heart attack. He was brought to a hospital. To his surprise, he learned he’d just had a panic attack.

FELs Pillar 8: Strong Spiritual Depth

Meditation and mindfulness are great tools for enriching your spiritual depth and caring for your mental well-being. There are many types of meditation you can practice, from walking meditation to loving-kindness meditation. One of the most famous entrepreneurs of all time, Steve Jobs, was a big fan of meditation. He asserted that through sitting and observing, the mind can “see things more clearly,’ and can “see so much more.” In short, Jobs used meditation to increase his clarity and creativity.

Seth spent the rest of his vacation time at an ashram back in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. He realized he’d been pushing down his anxiety and stress while pursuing success. When he’d finally “made it” but didn’t get the satisfaction he imagined, his body revolted. At the ashram, Seth learned to be more mindful. To focus on the here and now. He practiced silent meditation to deal with stress, instead of just working more and compounding it.

When, several months after his vacation, Innovative Minds’ market share plummeted for several weeks straight, Seth did not panic. He focused on what he could do every day. He didn’t worry about the future. He kept himself grounded in the present. The stock eventually bounced back, but what kept the company together was the founder’s unflappable calm.

Decades after he sold Innovative Minds, Seth enjoyed a quiet semi-retirement. He read books, traveled, and took long walks. He also did the occasional speaking engagement and consultancy. 

And he told the eager faces that paid to hear him talk the same thing: working himself to the bone helped him become one of the richest men in India. However, what allowed him to live his dream of having a big house with room for all his kids and grandkids, where he could sit on the porch with his wife and watch everyone play? 

This dream was made possible because he stopped focusing on end goals. Innovative Minds could have crashed at any moment, and then he’d be nowhere with all his stress. Focusing on mindfulness and practicing meditation saved his life and was what made his business flourish.

By: Thomas Nevin

COO – Joe’s Writers’ Club Inc.