Gandhi's Philosophy for Growing Your Business - Common Sense Living Newsletter
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Gandhi's Philosophy for Growing Your Business

Oct 01, 2014


He was a frail and tiny man who stood strong in his convictions. He led a nation to freedom, he led a people to enlightenment. Mahatma Gandhi, or Bapu as we fondly know him, has influenced our lives and thoughts in many ways. His teachings continue to resonate with their truth, simplicity and applicability to various life situations.

As we celebrate his birth anniversary, here's a tribute to the Great Father of the Nation.

Gandhi's non-violent philosophies went beyond stirring a nation to independence. This austere man with a penchant for experimenting with truths gave us several insights for self-improvement and mastery. Some of his lessons can also be applied to entrepreneurship and building businesses with greater ease and clarity.

Source: fliegenwulf / Shutterstock

Shashi Tharoor once said about Gandhi: "Don't ever forget, that we were not lead by a saint with his head in clouds, but by a master tactician with his feet on the ground."

Here I draw inspiration from quotes by Gandhi to help you adapt them for greater success in your own ventures.

Believe and the means will follow

"If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning."

All great actions start with thoughts, and thoughts get their strength from beliefs. When your thoughts find their true manifestation in your actions and you start living by them, they become your beliefs - ideas that rule your life and help you conduct it in the way that is right for you. Just like Gandhi did. He believed in a simple life, he believed in non-violence and he believed in peace. And to these ideals he devoted his life. He tested himself time and again, and each time his capacity for endurance grew.

Test your beliefs, have the faith to pursue your ideas, and the means to achieve your goals will unfold automatically.

Make a difference by adding value

"Be the change that you want to see in the world."

Change is a by-product of our need to go beyond what already exists. To challenge our comfort zones, to have better experiences, to add beauty to our world. But as Gandhi says, all change starts with you. When you push your limits, go beyond the ordinary and strive for the extraordinary, you will experience that change and growth. You will start seeing a world that reflects spectacular moments. Gandhi led by example, when he wanted to promote an indigenous way of life, he wore only khadi. Soon a swadeshi wave swept the country, the economy picked up and Indians became more self-reliant.

Begin by identifying what you would like to change in your own life. And you will notice that people around you too have similar requirements. This can form the crux of your business idea.

Determine your pace for growth

"There is more to life than simply increasing its speed."

Success in today's times is determined by speed or better still by numbers and net worth. But can you really quantify experiences? Can you hasten the natural course? Conversely, would you want to reach the age of 80 before going through 40, 50, 60 and 70? Then why the need for speed? Why not take some time out from all the rushing around and stay still for a while. Gandhi observed silence for one day in each week. This helped him get away from the busyness of the world, from the constant bombardment of communication and societal pressures. It allowed him time alone to meditate, introspect and regroup for the next big challenge.

Don't get carried away by numbers, don't compare your pace and growth with others. Follow your natural rhythm and let success and achievement come to you in their due time.

Keep moving toward your goal

"Glory lies in the attempt to reach one's goal and not in reaching it."

The setting of targets is the first step toward attaining them. By listing what is important to be done, you work with greater conviction. A step-by-step breakup of your goals will show you what you need to move closer to it. And as you achieve each small milestone, you will find more joy in the journey, and the end result will then become less significant. The very flow of your actions will give fulfilment. Gandhi started the Dandi March with a handful of people. But as he walked toward his destination, several Indians joined him along the way, creating the first civil disobedience movement of its kind... It all began with that one step.

Take that first step toward your goals, and watch your own business gather momentum and march toward success.

Follow a code of conduct

"It is difficult, but not impossible, to conduct strictly honest business"

Just as in life, so as in business, honesty and integrity commands the highest respect. By being honest you show commitment to yourself, your beliefs and eventually to the larger world around you. Gandhi practiced honesty at every level, making intricate details of his life and views open to people. He spoke candidly about his struggles and conquering his demons.

Being transparent and ethical can be challenging but it will take your company many notches higher. The turnover is just a figure that keeps changing, what will stay is your reputation for honesty.

Make leadership about people

"I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people."

A leader exists because of his people. Thus, their concerns and welfare are his first priority. A good leader needs many qualities - an ability to bring people together, translate his vision and help his co-workers unleash the best versions of themselves. Gandhi brought a nation together in a common vision for freedom. His ability to appeal to millions of people both in the country and internationally reflected his knack for getting along with people.

Work on your interpersonal skills, communicate as much as possible with your teams and facilitate their maximum potential.

Create a space for experimentation

"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes."

And this is the ultimate freedom isn't it? The freedom to be human, learn through trial and error. Nothing can be gained without risking it all on a thought or idea, seeing where it takes you, allowing it to chart its own path. You can't predict success or failure, but you can always make attempts toward it. Gandhi had a vision for non-violence at a time when the world was rife with wars. Many thought it was idealistic, even unrealistic. But he gave it his best shot and set an example.

Be as creative as you can, allow yourself to err, don't be too harsh on yourself or the people around you, because at the end of it all we are all human... with the freedom to make mistakes.

So get on the road to magnificence, let your life and your work positively impact the lives of others. And in the words of the Mahatma, be sure -- "In a gentle way, you can shake the world."


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14 Responses to "Gandhi's Philosophy for Growing Your Business"

Rajinder Singh Shergill

11 Apr, 2016

Excellent  words thank lot for sharing.


25 Jun, 2015

good one and thanks gsk


08 May, 2015



11 Oct, 2014

These are very true and relevant even today. It has withstood the sands of time.

bipin mehta

02 Oct, 2014

Really very true and get motivation.


02 Oct, 2014

We generally see something written anywhere that captivates us, & gives us a power, an impulse, a faith to move forward... Just share here what motivates you with all of us.


02 Oct, 2014

Awareness is very important. YES IT IS VERY INTERESTING TO KNOW ABOUT IT


02 Oct, 2014

Very useful and a practical guide to lead a life of proactive nature. Let us first know the real meaning of FREEDOM.

Vasudevan Radha Krishnannair

01 Oct, 2014

Sir, I have a A Degree (MA/English), Full time Job,family (wife and two sons), Own House and a Car . Still, I feel I could not find the real aim of my life. How can I put my Humble signature on the time's black board? Can Gandhism show me a way?.

Dr Deepak

01 Oct, 2014

Impressive, motivating and so true. thanks for compiling it. keep it up.


01 Oct, 2014

Gandhiji inspired,motivated millions and on October2 let us again take the oath to follow his footsteps to whatever extent we can.Jai Hind

Srinivas Chabbi

01 Oct, 2014

Very nice and appropriate on the eve of his birth anniversary. Worth inculcating!


01 Oct, 2014

Every astute professional will need to follow these teachings to the 'T' to be successful in their pursuit. Belief - value creation - pace - perverence - conduct - people orientation - innovationn - each one of them is THE need for anyone to succeed in a corporate environment or individually. I just love this post. Great !!!

Like (2)


01 Oct, 2014

Wow !!! The message is absolutely marvellous. In this busy world we need constant reminders of Gandhi's ideals, lest we get sucked in to the whirl of craziness all around us. Thanks for drawing everyone's attention to this humble man's great teachings. Great post.

Like (2)

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