I’ve always somewhat envied those individuals that seem to know exactly what they want, exactly what they need to do to get it, and then devote themselves entirely to achieving just that. A lot of entrepreneurial advice recommends a similar program (with a dash of flexibility thrown in for good measure). The trouble is – prepare to breathe an enormous sigh of relief along with me – most of us simply don’t work that way.
“The man who sticks to his plan will become what he used to want to be,” writes the poet James Richardson in his delightful book Vectors: Aphorisms & Ten-Second Essays. Things change. People change. Our paths wind, twist, backtrack detour. Ends tend to be just that – dead ends. Following a script closely works well if your heart’s desire is to have your food delivery match your order. To achieve the unexpected, the exceptional, you’ll most likely need to wander a bit.
Meet my most recent candidate for The Most Interesting Young Man In The World: Sanjay Kumar Rajpoot. He graduated from USC with degrees in physics, chemical and nanotechnology engineering. Sounds like that would keep a student busy, but that didn’t keep him from tending bar or even janitorial duty for the sake of pursuing his diverse interests.
This budding entrepreneur has recently founded Sustainable Microfarms, a startup that develops and implements technology that makes, “the most efficient farming methods simpler, more accessible, and more economical.”
His personal mission statement reads as such: “To lead efforts to create enterprise, for the future and for the betterment of humanity through sustainable, viable, desirable, and feasible technological and business model innovation in agriculture, defense and energy.”
With young entrepreneurs, it’s routine to applaud ambition and innovation. Our admiration shouldn’t stop here. It’s not hard to connect Rajpoot’s words with the person behind automated greenhouses… but it might come as a surprise to know that Rajpoot also includes owning The Blackspot, an Indian and Portuguese fusion food truck on his resume – not to mention, a failed attempt to raise a million dollars for a paintball park.
For a more exhaustive look at his fascinating background, which includes stints as an MMA fighter and chatting with homeless PhDs in New York, check out his profile on TechCocktail. One of the many inspiring aspects of Rajpoot’s journey is his willingness to grant space to a broad spectrum of interests.
Too often focus is preached as if it’s the virtue that unlocks success. Focus has its merits, but it’s certainly not a cure all or a guarantee of accomplishment. Nurturing the explorer within ensures that opportunity will always abound no matter what direction life takes.
Peculiar – wouldn’t it be great if this became the new normal growth?