A drive across the country from Miami to Montana, down the Pacific coast, Napa, Death Valley, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and back to Miami in a Porsche GT3RS is a remarkable feat for anyone at any age. But driving 9,000 miles. In 15 days. Solo. In a race car? What was this man thinking…he’s 65!

Born and raised in India into a humble family, Bobby Chopra learned early about the importance of hard work, setting goals and taking risks in pursuing dreams. With limited financial resources but ample intellect and determination he found the way to America where the dream of his youth came true when at the age of 36 he became a successful trader on Wall Street.

After an illustrious 30-year trading career, life took Bobby on a new journey and he moved to Miami to reinvent himself with renewed passion and purpose. He is now creating quite a buzz in the business world, coaching and advising business leaders and helping them grow from good to great. At the same time, Bobby is empowering Miami’s youth and their families by teaching financial literacy seminars through a partnership he created with “Big Brothers Big Sisters Miami.”

What led to your crazy adventure and what happened during the trip?
Six years ago I decided to restart my life all over again. I always loved traveling and used to race Porsches as a hobby, so I combined my two biggest passions and went on a trip crossing 25 states in 15 days. I had no plan for the first time in my life – just a desire to disconnect from things. And this is exactly what traveling does. After a few days of driving the noise from my life filtered out and I realized that my true calling was coaching people.

What does a coach do?
First of all, it is good to understand, why athletes have coaches. Athletes are great at what they do to begin with. Their coaches, however, can see something that can make the athletes get better. Even the greatest athletes need someone to push them out from their comfort zone.
Coaching in general is about looking forward. It is a process of helping people to develop the way of thinking that will enable them to make better decisions consistently and sustainably over time.

Who needs a coach besides athletes?
Anyone, who wants to get better at things they are doing. Very often it requires changing the mindset as all of us have certain self-limiting beliefs, such as “I can’t do it” or “it is not for me.” After the person changes the mindset, the next step is to change the habits and routines ingrained in the subconscious.
A good coach will help to break any process down into small parts without any judgment or bias and look at things the way they are. I trained myself this ability over the years of my financial career, which helped me become a very successful derivatives trader and an in-demand business coach and advisor.

How is mentoring different from coaching?
As a coach, I let people determine their goals, set the agenda and make their own choices. I get involved to encourage and to make sure they stay on track. In a pure coach-trainee relationship I’m not bringing my judgment to the table and don’t influence the process.
A mentor, on the other hand, brings his previous experiences, knowledge and insights, shares them with the mentee, and influences the process. A mentor guides people towards specific choices and decisions.

Bobby Chopra

What inspired you to become a mentor for Miami’s community?
When I was growing up as a teenager I didn’t have a mentor and I was craving one. I wished somebody was there to guide me in my search for answers, but I had to do everything on my own. It was a hard journey, but I was determined and passionate. I learned the hard way.

When I go to “Big Brothers Big Sisters Miami,” I think of myself when I was younger and try to remember what I needed then and what answers I was looking for. Financial literacy is a big part of it. Kids need to understand the important role money plays in pursuing their dreams. As a mentor, I’m not asking anything in return from them. My return is my fulfillment.

What is the most important thing you want people to take away from your seminars?
Nobody can make your dreams come true for you. I teach financial literacy so people could better themselves. I’m empowering them with new knowledge to pursue their dreams. I hope to help them to attain their dreams faster and more efficiently by pointing out the right direction. What they choose to do with it, is up to them.

What if I told you my dream was to become a millionaire?
I would ask you how soon you would want to become a millionaire and what it is you are doing today to achieve this dream? If you are working for a minimum wage and dreaming of millions, then you either need to change your profession or do something else. Your first option could be to start your own innovating business and scale it to the point where it can bring this money in. Another option is to identify the professions that enable people to make millions: plastic surgeon, investment banker, pro athlete, computer scientist. You have to be smart, work hard, and have a plan.

How do I know my dream is not impossible?
A dream is going to stay a dream unless you act on it. I don’t believe in excuses. You have to have the hunger to succeed. Nobody has to be average – we can all be extraordinary. All it takes is determination and a dream. And no excuses. What is stopping you?

Photo © Chopra Coaching

Ekaterina Juskowski

Founder and executive editor of #MIAMIGIRL


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