In the last few years, we have seen more twenty-somethings rise in the business world, rejecting the traditional career path of climbing the corporate ladder and instead choosing to start their own companies. In going the entrepreneurial route, these leaders face additional challenges that are, perhaps, unique to them because they are so young.
However, what about young minorities, particularly those whose families come from different cultures? Their dreams of owning successful companies are no less real, yet they may face additional pressures both from society and their families. We discussed this issue with Hrithik Bawa, the twenty-year-old millionaire options and common stock trader and Co-Founder of Caviar Skin, and he offered some suggestions for minorities who may be hesitating about finding success by becoming their own bosses.
“First, it is absolutely true that you will face the same challenges that a non-minority will encounter,” Hrithik says. “Get ready for a lot of hard work, patience, time, and effort to make the idea that you have in your mind become a successful reality. My own personal journey with options and commons trading and with building a startup from the ground up during the pandemic has been full of ups and downs, so I recommend that you dig deep mentally and prepare yourself for some tough – but exciting – days.”
He suggests that the minority entrepreneur have a strong motivation for what they are doing so that they can weather any inevitable storms. “You have to want something badly in order to achieve it. Right before the beginning of 2020 when I was seventeen, I decided that I wanted to become financially free. My bank account was overdrafted, and I was tired of using my parents’ money for food, fun, dates, and pretty much anything I did. I couldn’t live like that.”
He says that when he was seventeen, he began making and selling his own gym-wear line that he called ‘Pulse Athletics.’ “I raised $25K to start my trading career. I built up my portfolio to about $150K in a month, and I grew it to over a million dollars through some excellent trades in just a few years.”
He says that his desire for self-sufficiency has kept him going through tough times, and knowing your ‘why’ can help you, too. “I looked at many ways to stand on my own feet at a younger age and was inspired by just watching Shark Tank on television.
One other big change to my life was one of my friends who took me under his wing and opened up a whole new meaning of life for me. His name was Naman Shah. I met him in college through mutual friends, and we kicked it off.”
Naman brought Hrithik into the world of trading and the stock market, and the rest was history. “I had started my journey right then and there and entered at just the right time before the March 2020 market crash occurred because of rising fears about the coronavirus and the Federal Reserve cutting 50 basis points,” Hrithik recalls.
Hrithik empathizes with minorities whose families are immigrants and who might have different career expectations for their children. “I am a first-generation American, and I was always looked at as the future ‘doctor.’ ‘Stock trader’ wasn’t even on the table, as in my family’s eyes, that seemed like a gambling addiction. It is a tricky balance for minorities to honor where they come from while still remaining true to who they are in this country.
If you have a dream of being an entrepreneur but your family isn’t on board, what I have found to be helpful are three things: time, respect, and no comparisons.
First, show your family over time how committed you are to owning a business and how you can achieve it. Second, remain respectful to your family’s culture and traditions, and you will see so much come together. Third, I believe in remaining on my own lane and not being public about any action I take in my personal life until I get to a point where I find it is okay to be public about it. Those ideas can help you a lot in your own business journey.”
He is a big believer in defining the American Dream for yourself. “Every person’s life and goals are different, so it serves no purpose to compare yourself to what other people are doing,” he says. “For me, the American Dream has been multifaceted.
In addition to being financially secure, I have wanted to have the ability to take care of myself health-wise. I lost 65 pounds in only six months, giving myself the energy and motivation to build up my desired life in other ways.”
Hrithik emphasizes the importance of a minority entrepreneur protecting their most valuable asset: their mind. “As a minority in this country, you will meet great people every day, but unfortunately, you will also encounter racism, bullying, and even segregation. You will hear comments about how you can’t succeed precisely because of the color of your skin or where your family comes from. It is very hard to hear, definitely, and I have heard those comments myself.
However, what I’ve come to think is that I don’t have to believe the naysayers. I don’t even have to let their words into my mind. I just ignore what the general population of naysayers and some racists say, believe in myself, and keep achieving.”
Hrithik’s last suggestion for minorities who want to own their own businesses is that they never settle for less than what they want.
“One of the beautiful things about America is that you can do anything you want to,” he says. “I knew at age seventeen that I wanted to be my own boss and that I wanted financial security. Now I have it. Keep your head down, keep working, and do not stop until you reach the day when it all comes together. Also, remember that ‘in investing, what’s comfortable is rarely ever profitable.’“
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