Gurbaksh Chahal: More Than Just A High School Drop Out… Life & Lessons

Gurbaksh Chahal Life and Lessons EntrepreneurGurbaksh Chahal: Life Biography

On July 17th, 1982, Gurbaksh Chahal was born in the town of Tarn Taran, near Amritsar in Punjab, India. 3 years later, in 1985 his parents Avtar and Arjinder Chahal received a visa to move to America gained through the Diversity Visa (DV) Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery. The following year, they moved to America and settled in the sunny and tech thriving San Jose, California. Gurbaksh was just 4 years old.

Gurbaksh Chahal Childhood PictureWhen the Chahal’s arrived in America they had just $25 to their name. However, they had the hope of making a future for their children and so struggled in a variety of poorly paid jobs to support it. Education was paramount for the Chahal’s, as it was for most immigrant families, but at age 16, Gurbaksh dropped out of high school where he’d been bullied for several years to work on his online advertising business.

He started work on ClickAgents full time and went on to work relentlessly in pursuit of his dream life as an Entrepreneur.

ClickAgents was one of the original ad networks focused on performance based online advertising and just 18 months following his high school dropout, Gurbaksh sold the company to ValueClick for 40 million dollars. The deal left Chahal with a three-year non-compete agreement with ValueClick.

However, 4 years later and Gurbaksh was back again. In January 2004, Gurbaksh founded his second Internet Advertising Company, BlueLithium that again used a number of clever ways of data optimization, analytics and behavioral targeting to target ads to users. It was named by AlwaysOn as of the top 100 private companies in America for three years in a row and joined the likes of Google and Skype in 2006, being named Innovator of the Year.

In 2007, Yahoo acquired BlueLithium for $300 million in cash and Chahal remained CEO of the company through the transitional stage. But two years later in September 2009, Gurbaksh was back yet again and starting his third online ad company, this time with the focus of creating a new category of real-time advertising.

On April 29th, 2010 Chahal was awarded the Leaders in Management award and gained an Honorary Doctorate degree in Commercial Science from Pace University for his achievements during his career as an entrepreneur.

Later that year and on October 18th, 2010, a few days after his non-compete with Yahoo expired, Gurbaksh rebranded the company he’d started in 2009 as RadiumOne and launched its new Programmatic Advertising Platform. It aimed to leverage first party data to deliver real-time advertising across the web, mobile and Facebook. By March 2nd, 2012, Radium One had gained a valuation in excess of $500 million.

Personal Life, Philanthropy & Television Appearances

Gurbaksh Chahal Apartment Gurbaksh Chahal currently lives in Downtown, San Francisco overlooking San Francisco Bay. However, on December 3rd 2008 he appeared on Fox’s reality TV Show, Secret Millionaire in which he travelled undercover to the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. There he gave away $110’000 of his own money to charitable causes and individuals who he felt needed and deserved the cash.

On October 23rd 2008, Gurbaksh also appeared as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah introduced him as “one of the youngest and also the wealthiest entrepreneurs on the planet,” and went on to talk extensively about his childhood experiences including his migration to the USA and the racist bullying he countered once there, which lead to the beginning of his success at just 17.

Following the mass Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting in 2012, in which 6 people were fatally shot and 4 other injured, Chahal founded the BeProud Foundation with $1 Million of his own money. The foundation aims to create awareness campaigns and stop the occurrence of future hate crimes such as the Wisconsin Temple shooting.

Lecturer & Publishing

Gurbaksh is a frequent lecture at many universities and events, and has also released a book. His lecturing universities include Stanford University, the London School of Economics, University of California Berkeley, Columbia University, Ryerson University and Pace University.

He also currently awards 2 students a year (1 graduate and 1 undergraduate) with a $2’000 merit based scholarship to attend the Pace University Management & Entrepreneurship Program.

Gurbaksh Chahal The Dream Book

In 2008, Gurbaksh also released his first book, The Dream. In it he talks mainly about his childhood and his journey to his success at that time. However, he has since also spoke about his ambition to write further books about the experiences and lessons he’s encountered since then.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Gurbaksh, his life and what brought him to where he is today, then I can sincerely recommend The Dream. I’ve got and read the book, and I personally found it a pleasure to read as a young and ambitious entrepreneur myself.

Gurbaksh Chahal: Life Lessons

Don’t Procrastinate – Be Impatient

If you’re prone to procrastination, as we all are at times, then this lesson is invaluable. “If you genuinely want something, don’t wait for it – teach yourself to be impatient.” Says Gurbaksh.

To achieve in life, you can’t wait for things to come along or for the perfect weather to be apparent, but instead you have to go out there and fight the storm, to create what you want and build the life you dream of.

Gurbaksh has showed this ever since the start, he didn’t wait to grow old before starting his first online advertising company but instead started as a teen and built his way up regardless of frowned upon age. His age was the storm, but he was not scared. He was impatient instead, he went out and he inevitably got, what he really truly wanted.

He didn’t procrastinate and the storm of age for him, didn’t hold him back. “I forgot my age” he told in 2012, “There was a part of me that forgot what birthday I was celebrating, the one people thought of me, or the one I actually was.”

So, if you’re a procrastinator or waiting for the perfect moment to do your thing, don’t. As Gurbaksh says, “If you truly want something, don’t wait for it – teach yourself to be impatient.”

Learn From Your Mistakes

As with the journeys of all those successful, Gurbaksh has encountered mistakes, although seemingly not many drastic failures, in his life. However, Gurbaksh learnt from his mistakes, built on them and grew.

“I’ve also learned that the biggest lessons came from my biggest mistakes,” says Gurbaksh, demonstrating the importance of this lesson. Many of the lessons in this book and more, are taught to people through the mistakes they’ve made. You’d be amazed at the levels of self-development you can do by simply learning from your mistakes.

If you have a notebook, journal or diary, then perhaps this is an idea for you. Why not create a page to take note of the lessons and mistakes you’ve learnt? If you learn from your mistakes, it’s certain you’ll become a better person and eventually in time, much closer to the success in which you desire.

Find Something You Love & Do It Better Than Everyone Else

Steve Jobs once famously said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do” and I know this about Gurbaksh, but he loved what he did and that’s why he became a success to.

“Find something you love and do it better than everyone else,” Gurbaksh says, “People tend to think that in order to start a new business they have to come up with something new and dazzling, but that’s a myth.”

Gurbaksh never started anything new, in fact he copied what he’d seen someone else had done in the paper and went on to recreate that same business 3 times over. But he loved it; he discovered, he copied, and he loved early on. Following that he went on to create some great work, a great business, and offered great value to his customer, which brought him to his success.

For anyone aiming for success, this is the original and opening key. You must love what you do, even if it’s nothing new, because then you’ll create great work, value and inevitably achieve the success and life you want.

Wrote by Joe Brown  –  Follow me  -  More Lives & Lessons Here