All through my schooling I won certificates, awards, trophies—and the admiration of my proud family, celebrating at every occasion. Even in college I graduated at the top of my class in finance from a premier business school in India. One step into the corporate world, I was missing my books already, often thinking, “I wasn’t taught this!” I once again immersed myself in learning job-specific skills and became an Asset Advisor dealing with enormous amounts of money for large income clients. But with so much competition, stress, and constant effort to keep proving oneself, what kind of wealth was I creating for myself and what was I really learning?

I guess that’s why it wasn’t difficult to leave all that behind and move with my husband to Cyprus. I entered a beautiful phase of becoming a mother of two, but it was also a decade of feeling underutilized, since I couldn’t relate my academic grades and a brief corporate experience to anything I was doing. There was a constant urge to learn, to perform, and to grow. As if Anais Nin had said it just for me, “The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” This is when network marketing found me, and I woke up to the reality of this business, which is a life-transforming education.

The business also came with what I needed most at that time in life: a mentor. I was even more blessed as he is my own brother. When I started my training, I realized that in spite of receiving the best education in finance, I knew very little about wealth creation and personal finance, and about the importance of shifting my mindset in order to achieve this. Till then, I was programmed by the system to always give the “correct answers” and make no mistakes. In my new world I was encouraged to ask the “correct questions” and to learn by doing, which couldn’t be done without making mistakes. I found myself in a university without walls that supports creative thinking.

In fact, this is how education was designed to be in ancient times. One of the hallowed traditions in Hinduism is that of Gurukul, which literally means “teacher’s extended family,” where the students spent time with the teacher not only to learn the technical skills but also to gain virtues and change their personality and mindset for a specified purpose. Even the Bhagavad-Gita, the Hindu Holy Scripture, emphasizes the significance of having such a teacher, in whose presence the student’s confidence increases, fears diminish, knowledge flourishes, abundance blooms, and all talents manifest.

The core principle of our business is to first gain knowledge and then emptying oneself out for someone else, as in service, to spread the learning forward. Our future lies definitely in becoming leaders, but the power lies in the creation of leaders, and this is making a bigger difference for society at large, as we facilitate a transfer of knowledge to the student that makes the teacher redundant—something we never see in the corporate world or in traditional business. The beauty is that this process of learning, doing, and overcoming fears becomes so easy that it changes the whole personality for the better, which one realizes only later.

Through this incredible training I have experienced an expansion in the repertoire of my automatic behaviors, and a spontaneity where I needn’t refer to books but can relate my learning to any experience in life, be it meditation, photography, long-distance running, scuba diving, or even skydiving. In fact, most life experiences just re-emphasize the key elements of my business training. For example, for my scuba instructor, “There is no problem that cannot be solved underwater; all one needs to do is keep calm.” Long distance running is all about keeping the momentum and building on it. An interesting lesson from my skydiving instructor is, “While sitting on the edge of the aircraft at 11,000 feet, if you don’t want to go, you can say no, which with all the noise sounds like ‘go’ so we’ll go anyway!”

Communication and alignment with the mentor are also a critically important. In my experience of being deep under water and high up in the sky, the only way to communicate was through fluttering eyelids, hand signals, or a tap on the shoulders, and the entire message was received as long as the student and teacher were aligned.

Personally, through these business training methods to look inwards, I have learned to live life to the fullest as I feel more connected to my own real self. This helps me to connect better with others through empathy. That’s the power of learning—not just from mentors, but being receptive to learn from every human contact, be it uplines, downlines, crosslines, or even prospects who in some way prepare me to deal with the next ones. The diversity of interaction with people from different nationalities, age groups, and backgrounds is a beautiful way to see the world.

In a way I’m still an Asset Advisor like I was before, as our products are essentially our assets. But the beauty is that the real asset in this journey is me and what I will become!

This is the asset I want to pass on to everyone I connect with.

To quote William Butler Yeats, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” I can clearly feel the difference between my education before and now. The world needs more light today; we need to light this fire within.

Originally from India, NIKITA SIROHI is a budding network marketing leader based in Cyprus with a growing organization in India and Cyprus. She is working passionately towards fulfilling her dream of having all colors of the human rainbow connected.

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