You don’t go sell ice on EverestDavid Thirumur has been a life coach for the past 12 years, roving across the globe speaking to businesspeople, entrepreneurs and students. A social entrepreneur andleadership speaker, Thirumur was raised in India and was involved in a number of businesses before leaving to become a full-time speaker.
David Thirumur has been a life coach for the past 12 years, roving across the globe speaking to businesspeople, entrepreneurs and students. A social entrepreneur and
leadership speaker, Thirumur was raised in India and was involved in a number of businesses before leaving to become a full-time speaker. Greatly influenced by the social work his family had long pursued, Thirumur’s speaking responsibilities have also included a social component, whether it is working with the physically disabled or the underprivileged. His goal, he says, is to help people and make them realise their potential. Thirumur, who is the founder and CEO of the life coaching company Direct Koaching, was recently in Kathmandu for a two-day training programme titled ‘Training the Leaders of Tomorrow’. In this interview with the Post, Thirumur speaks about the value of motivational speaking and kind of advice he shares with executives and business leaders. Excerpts:
What exactly do you do as a life coach, and a motivational and leadership speaker? How did you get started on this career?
I started about 12 years ago. I underwent a lot of training and attended many seminars, and I knew this was the career path I wanted to be on. When a teenager, you don’t know what to do; you go through a lot of confusion about your future.
So, I started as a life coach to high school students to help them build their lives towards their career preference and personal relationships. Meeting with people and
talking to them slowly increased my client base like a snowball. There was more demand for trainings and seminars. With the kind of experiences I have garnered over the years and the kind of thoughts I was sharing, it was a huge blessing to be able to make some change in someone’s life, that too, positively.
When you speak to people, what kinds of motivational advice do you share?
It depends on the person, the situation and the kind of people I work with. Our main philosophy is that every person is an individual. So, when I am speaking to people
in Nepal, they are very different to people in the US or other parts of Asia. It is mainly because people face their own challenges and have unique sets of circumstances. The main logic and philosophy of coaching is that within themselves they have the knowledge and power to succeed.
So, we talk to them about circumstances and help them to deeply understand their errors, check their personal lives and make them realise their potential. I am just a life coach. I don’t know the situation of every individual but through my studies,
I understand the pattern of people’s minds, which will help them in both their business and personal lives.
You come from a family with a strong social work background. How does social work factor into the work that you do?
In order to find true success and happiness, one needs to be living a purpose larger than themselves.
The McKenzie Institute of Management conducted research some years ago, where they interviewed more than a 100,000 leaders from across the world and asked them what they want. Condensing the answers, most of them said they wanted success and happiness. Stephen Covey in his famous book—The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People—says that the most frustrating thing in life, as you spend your whole life climbing the ladder of success is to realise that it is leaning against the wrong wall. Sometimes, we are monetarily successful but something is missing. Looking at my parents give so much of their lives to social work has definitely been a life-changing experience for me. We all need a purpose to survive, a higher purpose. We try to encourage younger kids with problems to spend a day in an orphanage and try to play a game with them. You need to step out of your shoes and feel other people’s situations and emotions.
Can you tell us about your start-up Direct Koaching?
Direct Koaching is a life coaching company where we guide young people and help them make the right decisions for them to succeed. Many other coaching companies will tell you how to dress, how to memorise for your exams, but we are different. At Direct Koaching, our idea is to understand the character of an individual and work according to their strengths and weaknesses. As a life coach and someone who has studied human psychology, I try to understand individuals and their characters by their emotions, which are caused by thoughts that stem out of their mindsets and paradigms. Most people usually have stagnant behaviour and emotions. Until and unless you work on your thought process, it is impossible to bring about change. We help them change that process and instil good moral values and attitudes. The other goal of the company is to help social entrepreneurs run a successful business and community.
What is the value of motivational speaking and life coaching for businesses and start-ups?
Zig Ziglar, a popular motivational speaker was once asked, “What’s the value of motivation, if motivation doesn’t last very long?” To that question he replied, “What’s the value of a shower, if it doesn’t last very long?” The respondent said, “The shower will only be valuable if it lasts every day.” So exactly, like a shower, we need motivation too, that’s something you need on a daily basis. A partner of mine who lives in the UK has talked to over 500 companies that have had issues due to major training gaps. Currently, mental issues have become important for organisations all over the world. That’s where life coaching comes in. For business, you need capital and human resource, life coaching didn’t really fit in anywhere. But now, we have become an important entity for such organisations. You need someone to motivate you constantly.
What motivational suggestions do you have for young entrepreneurs and start-ups when they are just starting out?
Firstly, identify what you really want to do because only five percent of businesses survive after the first five years. Vision mapping is crucial for businesses. A business runs on four things: skills, talent, need and how can you pull it all off together. You don’t go sell ice on Everest. Start with a definite plan. It’s better to plan and succeed rather than rush and fail.