How 1 Student Helped Me Make Me Over 200,000 Rupees
It was a warm sunny Afternoon in Mumbai. The starting time for my first batch in the Summer of 2006 was just around the corner.
The month was April, the summer vacations had just started, it was the season to get loads of admissions for my classroom courses in Public Speaking and Personality Development.
But, unfortunately, due to some reason or the other, my 1st batch was not full.
In fact, it was nowhere near being full.
I had just 3 confirmed admissions for the course that was about to start in less than 10 minutes.
I was nervous as hell...
I had just started my classes in a fixed location a year ago (in July 2005). Prior to that, all my classes were held at random locations in the city and suburbs, in colleges and schools, conference rooms of hotels and even in a fitness gym.
I was looking forward to taking classes at a fixed place for a long, long time. We were fortunate to get a place that was bang opposite the busy Andheri Railway Station. Thereby increasing our chances of recruiting more students for our soft skills training courses.
In those days, taking the train was the most common mode of transport for the average city dweller.
All that changed over the years.
Terror attacks, bomb blasts in trains and public places, over-crowded trains, many many accidental deaths of passengers, and massive population growth meant that youngsters would take buses, rickshaws, cabs, and other modes of transport to travel in the city of Mumbai.
But this was April 2006, most youngsters traveled by trains, especially since it was the quickest and cheapest means of transport in those days.
Unfortunately, despite Savio DSilva Classes being so close to a main station, I had just 3 students registered for my first batch that Summer.
The normal strength of my summer courses would be between 15 to 20 students a batch.
So this was nowhere near normal...
Finally, it was 2pm, the three students (all teen girls) who had registered for the course were already sitting inside my classroom.
The air-conditioning installed recently was doing a great job, keeping these three girls cool during the hot summer we were experiencing in Mumbai that year.
I was in a state of panic, I'd not experienced this situation in many years of training.
My thoughts went back to the year 1999, the month October, the day was the 20th of the month, it was my first ever batch in Public Speaking, I had spent over 200,000 Rupees on advertising and promoting my courses.
But despite everything, I had just 1 student registered for that batch.
That is a different story altogether so I'll save it for another time.
For now, those horrid memories were starting to flood my brain as I paced up and down the narrow corridor outside my classroom wondering what to do.
I am one of those trainers who had gotten used to having full classrooms and seminar halls wherever I went to speak.
So, after nearly 6 years, I was finding myself in the same position that I was when I first started my classes.
I didn't know whether to continue with the batch or cancel it and refund the full fees to those 3 girls.
Fortunately, the disciplined side of me decided not to cancel the class, I just walked into my classroom and started taking the Public Speaking class scheduled for that day.
Since it was a moderately-sized classroom, more than 25 students could sit inside it comfortably, so there were many empty chairs in there.
The first thing I did was to ask these 3 young girls to help me fold the extra chairs and stack them up at the back of the classroom.
I just went with my instincts that day.
They could see that I was more nervous than they were and thankfully it helped them feel a lot less nervous.
The lecture started, and as I had done hundreds of time before, I confidently maneuvered my way around the classroom talking in my hoarse voice, keeping the students on the edge of their seats, listening to every little word I speak.
The many years of constant and disciplined practice had turned me into a charismatic and persuasive speaker.
It was 2.20pm, the nervousness that I had was gone, the three young girls who were initially skeptical about my course were now sitting there, comfortably, smiling...
It gave me the impetus I needed to continue with my lecture that Afternoon.
It was around 2.35pm, when suddenly there was a knock on the glass door behind me, a young girl stood there, she was standing there looking nervous as hell, her mother and aunt were holding her to make her keep standing, seeing her state...
I quickly opened the door and let the young girl in, her mother politely requested me to allow her and the aunt to sit inside my classroom for some time as her daughter would not be able to attend my course if she wasn't comfortable with my training and me.
Seeing that I could actually get my 4th student, my eyes lit up, and allowed the girl's mom and aunt to sit inside my classroom.
I figured that if I didn't convince the girl to stay, the air-conditioning would make them.
After all, it was a really hot day in suburban Mumbai.
I continued with my lecture, speaking confidently as I always do, the time for the first break was fast approaching, the clock struck 3pm.
I was done with the first part of my class that day, time to take a break...
During the break, the 4th girl's mom and aunt came to have a word with me in the narrow corridor outside.
They told me that they were happy with the way things were going and they were going to leave their daughter in my safe hands.
I was delighted that I had my 4th student that day.
Little did I know that this particular student, her name was Dhara Gandhi, would send more than 50 students for my courses in the months and years to come...
I continued with my lecture that day, I could see that all 4 girls were enjoying my lecture, and were loving every minute of the first day's class.
I was happy that I had decided to take up this class even though I had merely 3 students at the starting time of 2pm.
Since we had a rotational training program in my classes, something that I invented myself, we would have new students joining my Public Speaking and Personality Development courses every Monday.
Which meant, that even though I had just 4 students on the first Monday, I could have a full batch of 30 students by the next Monday.
This for me, was the biggest motivator whenever a batch started with less than 10 students on the first Monday of the course.
So, the next Monday, we had 8 students joining the course, which brought up our total class strength to 12 students
Then another 14 students joined on the 3rd Monday.
After the 3 weeks course was completed, the students who joined on the first Monday would leave us having completed their 3-weeks training with me.
So, towards the end of April, it was time for me to bid farewell to Dhara and the other 3 girls who joined us on that first day of my classes in Summer 2006.
There was a mind blowing transformation in Dhara's confidence after she had joined my course.
Within the first 5 days itself, she could stand up and deliver a speech without looking nervous.
I was really happy with her progress.
By the end of the 2nd week, she was confident enough to mingle with all the other students like a seasoned pro.
She had turned into a star.
Her parents, relatives, neighbors and friends noticed this dramatic improvement in her personality and self confidence within just 3 weeks of training at Savio DSilva Classes.
Thanks to the change that my classes brought about in this young girl, she went around with her new found confidence telling all her friends and family about my Public Speaking and Personality Development classes.
In the next 5 years, every Summer, there would be at least 8 to 12 students who joined my courses purely due to her reference.
Then those who came to me through her, would refer more of their friends and family to me.
In all, I received more than 50 admissions thanks to referrals through Dhara and the others who were referred by her.
This was a sizable amount of course fees for Savio DSilva Classes. More than Rs. 200,000.
Which I would have lost had I decided to cancel that class on that first day of the first batch during the Summer of April 2006.
Over the last 18 years of my training career, since October 1999 till September 2017, this month, I have been fortunate to have received hundreds and thousands of referrals to my courses, my blogs, my audio books, my counseling services, and the other things that I do during any given year.
The sad part is that these days I am not in a position to train or counsel most of these referrals as I am mainly into blogging and audio books since the past few months.
Yes, right now, there aren't thousands of my audio books selling nor are there Millions of visitors coming in to read these posts on Gobog.
But I am sure that my discipline, love and passion for blogging and audio books will send me Millions and Millions of visitors to Gobog in the future.
After all, it takes just one article like this post
or maybe this one
to help me start the regular stream of visitors to this blog.
Also, God always sends me angels like Dhara to make sure that the good work that I am doing keeps on moving forward.
Thank you God and Thank you Dhara.
At the end of the day, I love my work...
I love the fact that the work I do can enhance the quality of my reader's and listener's life.
There aren't too many careers out there that can bring about this much positive change in a human being's life in such a short span of time.
Audio Book Creator. Life Coach. Soft Skills Trainer. Counselor.
Meditation Practitioner. Food Technologist. Frugal Marketer.
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