“Change yourself to become what you want” – Gamini Saparamadu

Wednesday, 16 March 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Sunimalee Dias

Creating a complete change in you is imperative to ensure there is a good understanding of who you are and what you want. But this change is to bring out your true self with your ideas and to achieve the goals you want not what society forces us to be.

“We all have this person inside us no matter what or who we are the only way to get this person out is by the owner –you,” Kent CEO Gamini Saparamadu said while addressing a youthful audience gathered to find out how to engage in the business world at the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Sri Lanka Entrepreneur meet.

Relating his life experience, Saparamadu explained that there was a good deal of trying to first convince yourself of the need to give it a chance and go ahead with your plans and goals in life.

During his school days he had experienced a need to become a photographer as opposed to studying chemistry which Saparamadu had been encouraged to do by his family. With little support from home, he managed to find his way to becoming a professional photographer the hard way, by first qualifying as a chemist and then joining CIC.

The need to bring out the real person inside meant going against all norms presented to him by his home front. However, while attempting to satisfy them, he later began to carefully bring out this unique person inside. “One must not become complacent with what you have today,” he explained.

In reaching out for the goals there is a need to push forward for more goals in life, he said, adding, “Don’t focus less on what you are doing but continuously upgrade yourself.”

Going into detail, he took out a brick and said, “This can be anything but the difference is that unlike people this can’t think and do what it wants; on the other hand you can be what you want and achieve it too. Find out the person inside you, not the person who thinks what you should be.”

Saparamadu identified an entrepreneur as a person who ventures on a journey knowing very well where he is going and which direction he is to take and when.

Pointing out how some people can be a cause for concern, he said those with no goals who are hired to become consultants in companies eventually become failures and in the process ruin the lives of others as well.

Advising the would-be entrepreneurs, he said: “You have to make use of the opportunities available” and relating to his own life, Saparamadu said, “All my life my stumbling blocks were my hidden teachers. In this respect, to become someone you want to be firstly it is necessary to believe that you can achieve what you want in life and this is how the foundation is laid to a successful career.”

He laid down six commandments for entrepreneurs to follow in a bid to achieve the goals they make and how to get there.

Highlighting the challenges you are likely to face, he noted that when he was confronted with the situation of having to pick up the pieces and start from scratch when his business was hit by a fire that burnt down everything, all he did was fight on by recommencing his business from square one after most of the best camera equipment were burnt down in the fire, resulting in the loss of a huge amount of money.

Replying questions on how to overcome shortcuts that are glaring in your face when starting out, the successful entrepreneur explained that this was like opening a can of worms. “It’s not easy but you have to do it although this can result in huge threats that people may have to face up to,” he noted.

Another note of advice was to tell the young entrepreneurs to be “proud to be living within your means, else this can prove disastrous for your lifestyle”.

Saparamadu’s six commandments:

  • Constantly bear in mind where you were yesterday.
  • Constantly bear in mind where you are today.
  • Be conscious of where you want to be tomorrow.
  • Is your head turned towards that direction?
  • When do you want to be where you want to be?
  • How you are going there?