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Can someone entirely be Self-Made?

As children, we all have a unique set of dreams. We dream of becoming rich, successful, happy, and whatnot. And whenever we see challenges in our way, we tell ourselves at times, that we will overcome this, with our potential, so that someday we can tell others how we made the best of ourselves.

If you look at the cover thumbnail of this blog, you will see a "Self-made man”, a classic phrase coined on February 2, 1842, by Henry Clay in the United States Senate, to describe individuals whose success lay within the individuals themselves, not with outside conditions.

“While growing up my big brothers, relatives, or no one helped me throughout my journey. Today whoever I am today is solely on my willpower”

Those lines are pretty heavy, inspiring, and motivating lines indeed. But eventually, when I started entering into different phases of life beginning from personal relationships to professional life I started to realize this “Self Made Man” is certainly a myth.

In reality, whatever journey we have experienced it’s a culmination of contributions being made by many people in different phases. Maybe we just overlook those or never feel to recognize those. Maybe the temptation to tell the whole world that we are self made men have kept us a way to acknowledge the fact that there are many people who have played significant roles in having the lives we have today.

Yes, there is no doubt that our personal and professional successes are the outcomes of our own efforts and commitments. There is no question on the fact that in struggle battles one fights the war himself as a frontline soldier. But at the same time, we should not fall into the delusion that we have always been that way.

During my tough days back in college life, I had my friend Rozin who not only stood by me but provided me with all the support I required at that time to hold myself mentally. Again, that friend came forward like a blessing when he forwarded my resume for a job at The Daily Star, which was the key turning point of my entire career.

While I was a student of 11th Grad I remember my friend Aveek who introduced me to one of our seniors of the school Tahsin Bhai. If Aveek did not do that I would not have met the amazing Tahsin Bhai who later became my mentor in my University days. I believe in everyone’s life there is a person who introduced him or her to the person who may have introduced him to a mentor/spouse/lead. Maybe you have worked very hard but the presence of the person in your life at that moment mattered the most.

I tell people about how I landed my first job. It was not through my commitments or cautious job search it was my salesmanship course instructor at the last semester who asked me about my interest to work for one of the leading MNCs and later on forwarded my resume to the organization. Maybe I did well in the interview but his presence at that time in my life mattered the most.

I remember when I got my first job I was located outside Dhaka and it was like the size of a fish living without water. New people, new culture and the adverse atmosphere was letting me almost quit my job. My friend Leon left Dhaka and bunked a few of his classes and came to visit me. I am grateful to him for being there with me. Maybe for that particular moment if he was not there to cheer me up I would have left. Eventually, I made good friendships with new colleagues, my 100 plus sales team and it was them who contributed significantly to my career growth at an early stage. I remember when I left Jessore for Dhaka I saw tears in my colleagues' eyes.

In the middle stage of my career, it was a very rough journey. I changed my jobs frequently and was also very frustrated sometimes. And every time I was struggling mentally there were amazing colleagues and friends there to support me. Even when I made the decision to leave corporate and start my journey in media almost everyone was against this, to some extent made a laugh about it but only my spouse supported the decision. At that point, it was the most crucial influencing part being played.

Even today When I look back as I started my Journey at the Daily Star more than 6 Years back whatever I am today is a culmination of people who played key roles in different stages. Starting from my editor to the amazing teammates who have made my journey here so much rewarding. Shuvashish, my teammate, has played a very significant role in helping me envision my marketing journey here. There were moments I was in self-doubt but he has made things easier for me. In this era of digital where people are somewhat getting sidetracked from reading the newspapers, I had Anik and Rayhan by my side to help me with the circulation, which is not a piece of cake.

Even outside professional and family life, we do meet people. And sometimes we get to know some amazing souls with whom you can share your frustration and hard times. You come to know some people who understand you better. Arafat and Rafeed are such wonderful younger brothers to have who understand me better sometimes than anyone else. On a professional frustrating day when I am having such bad times they never forget to call me and introduce me to the web series that will keep me diluted from those bad times and make me laugh.

Out of passion, I co-founded a youth platform. And that platform introduced some amazing souls like Ashik, Ayon, Ahnaf, and Jubayer. These young kids show me a lot of hope -hope for a better society, hope for a better country we can dream of living in. And they have meaningful contributions to my life.

Life is not a bed of roses. And everyone more or less goes through tough times. Every time I do take suggestions from My mentor Sonia Apu and my younger brother Imran. Not necessarily they give me instant solutions but definitely, they can give me direction towards a solution. In the middle of hectic weeks when I’m bombarded with work, I have Shamnoon Bhai, Saimum, and Sajid who meet me over a cup of coffee for a refreshing chat.

Today maybe I am having a very smooth kind of experience in life. Hence It’s very easy for me to forget where I was 10 years ago. Hence it’s very important to have a strong sense of gratitude. Gratitude to each and everyone who has played an amazing role in our lives.

But I feel there are two people for whom showing gratitude is not enough. Even this is an audacious attempt to show gratitude to them. They are my parents who not only brought me to this world but went through every struggle to give me a life full of strong values. I am also grateful to the Almighty for always guiding me on the right path.

To every person reading it right now, however far you’ve made it, you wouldn’t have made it far if it wasn’t for your teachers.

There should not be any ego to recognize the contribution of such souls who have played a key role in our daily life. Hence when I saw people saying I am a self-made man, it hurts me to a certain extent. Having a belief that we are self-made will just keep pushing us away from those small relationships we have built over time. I am proud of not being a self-made man.

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