The Story Of Riches To Rags — Stagnation Means Decline

This is a true story about a self-made businessman whose unwillingness to look forward and grow, led to stagnation of his empire. Today, the situation is such that he is looking for help to provide him and his family with food.

How did that happen? Worth a read and we all have something to learn from this.

The Start

This man began by getting into the business of selling cement in 2006. I used to meet his family once every year during Durga Puja (a festival in India).

He seemed to be doing well — built a big house, big enough for a family of 4. He started hiring more people and soon his sales increased. He was making money!

The problem was he used his money to increase luxuries for him and his family. He never looked for expansion and kept on with his business in his own region. He settled. There was nothing wrong and no problem with that until a foreign party decided to branch out and enter his market.

The Beginning of Riches to Rags

By the year 2015, this man’s region had 4 other businesses fighting for the same customers. Still, he managed to keep hold of some of his dedicated customers.

He was in a state of dilemma. He built his large house, got his family the luxuries that he was no longer able to fund for. The maintenance costs were high. He was barely managing to keep up with his business. Yet still, he never looked for some other source of income.

In 2017, a big player entered the market and swiped out all the existing 5 businesses. This man was merely getting customers. With the burden of the losses his business was having, he had to sell his house and his cars.

By 2019, he gave his elder daughter’s marriage and was hardly making a living. But what followed that ruined him and his family completely.

The End

2020 brought the Coronavirus. This pandemic made the entire world be in lockdown. Forget India. No money coming in. With the loans he has and the losses he is bearing, his family is in a state of poverty. The locals are currently helping him and his family with food.

A man who knew only how to sell thought the money he was making is going to be with him forever. He didn’t look forward, move forward, and neither developed additional knowledge and he finally succumbed to his fate — a fate that only he is responsible for.

What can we learn from this story?

Never stop learning. Never stop growing. The day you do, remember your end will be in the corner too. Time will swipe you away with fresh faces.

As Herbert Spencer coined the phrase taken from Darwin’s evolutionary theory:

“It’s the survival of the fittest.”

No victory is enough. No success should let us saturate. We should never look for stagnation. “Because stagnation is decline.”

It’s important that we surround ourselves with better minds — people who can help us understand if things go wrong. This man never did. The only people working for him were salesmen and laborers. There was no group. He had no interest in the digital world, the internet, and marketing.

Well, you may say how dumb was he?

What if I tell you most of us are in that zone itself. When we get a good job, we stop learning. You may be secure. You may not be poverty-stricken. But, ask yourself, are you happy with what you have today. If you die tomorrow, would you feel fulfilled or be filled with regret? The answer to that question will be the answer to the state you are in — Rags or Riches? Or in between?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

See you soon tomorrow. :)


A storyteller and a digital marketer, in the pursuit of happiness and peace. Get in touch: