The best advice my grandfather ever gave me
I loved visiting my grandpa. He was the only one who truly understood why I was so passionate about business even when I was only 6 or 7 years old, no one else took me seriously. He would drop whatever he was doing and just sit down on the chair next to mine. My feet could barely touch the floor, but I felt like an adult. The topics of conversation included letter of credit, import license, export license, customer service, and many other topics that were way above my "pay grade" at the time. On many occasions, I would pretend like I knew exactly what he was talking about just so he wouldn't think that I'm just a kid and stop having those discussions with me. My grandpa ran a successful tobacco business in Pakistan for over 50 years. Looking back at his business, I wouldn't say that he was the best businessman in the world but he was pretty damn good. He was the very first entrepreneur I ever knew.
One of the main reasons why I wouldn't consider him the best businessman is that he didn't make moves to take over the industry. At that time in Pakistan, when the industry was so young and had so much growth potential, he could've turned it into a huge empire. But he didn't because he had achieved more than he ever wanted to and he was content with it.
Although he didn't grow his business to its full potential, he definitely built a solid business that carried a great reputation. To this day, whenever I visit my town in Pakistan, people still talk about it. He was by far the most honest businessman I have ever met. The best advice my grandpa ever gave me was "grab market share, don't worry about profits in the beginning; Take a hit if you have to. Make yourself known to your competition." I've done that with all of my business ventures. Every new idea we come up with at Aspetto, we try to capture the market share first and then tweak our structure to make profits from it.
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