Have you ever wanted something so bad but unsure how to start? I’m sure you’ve heard several rags to riches story of those that have really made something of themselves but start off with nothing. These stories are inspiring, uplifting and making us believe that we too can create something ourselves. For a story like this, Gurbaksh Chahal, or known to his friends as “G” did that exact thing.
For him, his passion was found early after her immigrated to the United States from India. While his parents struggled to make ends meet, Chahal didn’t care about school and found his own way to do business. He was turned away from a McDonalds job. He started buying and reselling printers on eBay.
Then, at 16, Chahal decided to start his own business. DoubleClick was “the big Kahuna” of internet businesses, Chahal says in his memoir, but he knew he could build a different business that tracked the number of clicks on an ad. He contracted with a programmer in London to build an ad-clicking program for him. To help get the gig, he created a fictitious name, Gary Singh, and said he was much older, according to his memoir.
Twenty-one months after he started Click Agents, ValueClick bought the startup in an all-stock deal valued at nearly $40 million.
The 18-year-old bought a Lexus and paid off his parents’ mortgage. His rags-to-riches story had happened in a blink of an eye.
In 2003, after Donald Trump rejected his application for “The Apprentice,” Chahal returned to the ad-tech business. The 21-year-old cofounded internet-advertising company Blue Lithium with Krishna Subramanian.
Chahal, meanwhile, used the success to explore other areas. MySpace was hot back in 2007, and Chahal wanted to launch his own social network called MingleNow, designed for club-goers and party people. Even this had Chahal’s Midas touch. MingleNow landed a partnership deal with Anheuser-Busch.
Within three years, Yahoo bought BlueLithium for $300 million. Chahal’s personal stake was valued at around $100 million. MingleNow shut down after the acquisition, but Chahal was just getting started.
That year was pivotal. He landed a book deal to detail “The Dream” — his story from a starting a company in his bedroom to selling his second company to Yahoo for $300 million.
In October, Chahal appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s TV show — “He’s single!” she kept gushing twice — addressing the bullies of his past and the opulence of his present. They had a detailed conversation about his Lamborghini doors, only to swivel back to the subject of him crying when he got home from school.
Weeks later, Chahal was featured on Fox’s “Secret Millionaire.” The multimillionaire lived in a hotel in the Tenderloin neighborhood for a week, volunteering for neighborhood charities, including a battered-women’s shelter. By the end, he had donated more than $100,000 to charity.
Today, Gurbaksh Chahal’s story is one to keep an eye on. His rising fame, ability to build something out of nothing and keeping his empire alive is what many strive for in this day and age. He continues to inspire, uphold and take pride in his work both on and off social media. So what is your dream for you and your business? DO you hold the American dream for you and your family? How can you bring your business to life?