There are many roads to entrepreneurship, but Jay Shetty's journey is different from what most might expect. In fact, his background as a monk might be the last thing you might connect to entrepreneurship and success. Despite that, Jay Shetty found a way to make it work.
This article explores Jay Shetty's background, how he became a monk, and how he used his experiences to build a successful career in the self-improvement niche.
Let's get started.
Jay Shetty is a bestselling author, podcast host, motivational speaker, purpose coach, and former monk. But before he became all that, let's dive into his backstory.
Jay Shetty was born on September 6, 1987, and raised in London. As a child, Shetty was shy and introverted. His classmates teased him for being overweight and a teacher's pet.
Like most teenagers, Shetty was trying to find himself and make sense of the world. Unfortunately, his search led him on a rebellious path at 14. He ran in circles that involved drugs, violence, and crime.
"I was looking for the right thing in the completely wrong places," he said in one of his podcast episodes. This behavior lasted until he was 18 years old.
Growing up, Jay Shetty loved to learn about successful people who came from nothing. He devoured rags-to-riches stories, including those of Dwayne Johnson and David Beckham. "It was about how they were able to rise against all odds when nothing was in their favor," he remarked.
Shetty understood how hard work and strong goals were essential to success. He wanted what these people had — fame, money, success.
It was little surprise why seeing a monk speak hardly piqued his interest.
Jay Shetty didn't even want to see a monk speak until his friends finally convinced him. Shetty entered that room, not expecting to learn much. It turned out that he would walk away, feeling profoundly changed.
This monk and his virtues fascinated Shetty. He even learned that this monk turned down jobs from prestigious companies.
"Wow, why would anyone who has everything leave it all behind? Because all me and my friends were all trying to get jobs at these companies. Yet, here was a very successful man who'd given it all up to become a monk to serve people?" Shetty wondered.
His curiosity then led him to make a choice most people his age wouldn't. He would spend his summer vacations with each foot in two different worlds.
"Every single one of my summer vacations. Half of them I'd spend interning at corporate companies in London. The other half I'd spend living as a monk in India," Jay Shetty said in an episode of "Influencers with Andy Serwer," a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment on Yahoo! Finance.
Needless to say, the monk life was different from the lives most of his peers were living. Shetty's robes, shaved head, and humble living quarters in a gym locker weren't exactly what most would aspire to.
While the world slept, Shetty was awake at 4:00 am. He would greet the morning with meditation. And a monk's meditation routine was beyond what you'd find on a mobile app. Shetty and his fellow monks would meditate for up to eight hours each day, sometimes in extremely hot or cold environments.
But the monks did more than hide away in their temples. Being of service to others was also essential. Shetty and his fellow monks built sustainable villages and fed the hungry by participating in food programs. He also preached to others about the values of personal growth and well-being.
While Shetty's personal and spiritual growth was intense, this growth didn't apply to his bank account. After three years of living as a monk, Shetty decided it was time to put away the robes. He returned to London. Unfortunately, Shetty found himself in a new predicament:
What was he to do now?
Eventually, Shetty realized that his unconventional background was not a setback to conventional success — it was the path forward. While Shetty didn't build skills working in an office cubicle, he developed a well of knowledge and wisdom from his training as a monk. Monk life taught Shetty about self-improvement, and he could use these lessons to his advantage.
Shetty's friends from business school invited Shetty to speak at their companies. They wanted him to share a monk's insight on managing stress and improving productivity. Shetty also learned that his nuggets of wisdom could help new and high-performing employees thrive in the professional space.
This profound realization and humble beginning were how Shetty advanced his career in entrepreneurship.
Since those speeches at his friend's companies, Shetty has made significant achievements as a digital entrepreneur. One of his motivational talks caught the eye of Arianna Huffington. She onboarded him, and Shetty gained his own spirituality show on HuffPost Lifestyle. He also grew his personal brand and used it to advance his viral video agency.
Many companies started noticing. Big-name companies like Facebook, Coca Cola, Microsoft, and even Google invited Shetty to keynote for them.
Even as a monk, Shetty gained recognition and credibility within the business world. In 2016, Shetty won the ITV Asian Media Award for Best Blog and came 3rd in the Guardian Rising Star Award in 2015.
Jay Shetty moved to New York in 2016, but the Jay Shetty Wikipedia page shows he now lives in Los Angeles. Shetty is currently splitting his time among several projects.
On his website, Shetty sells personal development courses that teach people personal growth, relationships, health, spirituality, career, and finance. He uses his background as a Monk to help people lead more fulfilling lives. Shetty also offers life coaching certifications. In addition to empowering regular people, he also gives coaches the tools and knowledge they need to help others.
"I want to help people find stillness, purpose, peace, and clarity in their daily life, by adopting the mindset monks have developed over thousands of years," Jay Shetty said in an interview with Sam Wolfson with The Guardian.
Shetty finally decided to compile his extensive knowledge in a book. He wrote Think Like a Monk and published it in April 2020. His book quickly rose the ranks on Amazon — now #1 in meditation and #6 in happiness/self-help. The Today Show on NBC also featured Jay Shetty and his book on their show to share tips on how people can train their minds for peace, especially during these uncertain times surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jay Shetty is also an avid content producer. He is the host of his podcast "On Purpose," which aims to "make wisdom go viral." He has interviewed influential individuals within their respective fields, including Ray Dalio, Tim Ferris, and the late Kobe Bryant.
Like his podcast, Jay Shetty videos on his YouTube channel feature motivation, relationships, and wisdom. He also posts interviews and has recently interviewed actress Kristen Bell, football player Lewis Howes, and entrepreneur Edward Mylett.
Jay Shetty's parents are Indian immigrants who settled down in London. His mother was born in North India and grew up in Yemen, while his father is from Bangalore in India. Shetty's parents worked hard to create a better life rich in opportunities for their children.
"They put in so much hard work to provide for me and my younger sister so that we could have opportunities," Jay Shetty said in an interview with The National, a publication in the Middle East, "When I look back on their sacrifice, I see it with so much gratitude because I think their lives were definitely more challenging than ours today."
Shetty married Radhi Devlukia-Shetty in 2016. Jay Shetty interviewed his wife, and both shared the story of how they met.
Radhi's mother first met Shetty and asked him to teach her daughter, Radhi, how to perform a temple service. Upon meeting, Shetty was immediately captivated by Radhi's beauty. Radhi was also intensely intrigued by Shetty and attended many of his speeches on philosophy and meditation.
However, Shetty eventually left to become a monk. Even during the three years Shetty was away, the mutual attraction remained. When Shetty returned, Shetty and Radhi started dating towards the end of 2013. They finally married in 2016.
Radhi is also an impressive individual. She currently has an Instagram with 7.3 million followers, where she shares tips on green and conscious cooking and living. She also recently started a YouTube channel, covering the same topics. Despite starting her channel only in October 2020, she has already accumulated over 100,000 subscribers.
We couldn't share this article unless we also shared words of wisdom from Jay Shetty. Here's what entrepreneurs stand to gain from Shetty's wisdom.
From day one, Shetty always knew that he wanted to share the principles he learned as a monk with the world. Looking at where he is today, it's easy to say that he succeeded. He commands a massive audience, and his teachings circulate through social media, podcasts, and talk shows.
However, it wasn't always this way.
In one of his podcast episodes, Shetty shared stories of when he spoke at universities and nobody attended. Regardless, Jay Shetty showed up and gave the full presentation — to an empty room. Shetty understood the importance of showing up even in undesirable circumstances.
"Today, when I get to speak with tens of thousands of people in audiences, I remember that moment when I practiced and prepared for what I get to do today. I'm genuinely so grateful that I had those experiences," he said.
What does this mean for entrepreneurs?
The successful public figures we see are only the tip of the iceberg. You don't always see behind the scenes and the adversities they had to overcome.
When starting, you might feel like Jay Shetty during those early days. You're selling your product or service to an empty room.
Still, you must show up for yourself and your business. There may be days where it feels like you're getting nowhere. You may doubt your abilities. You may even question whether you can do this.
Feeling these emotions yet showing up anyway is what separates the real entrepreneurs from the hobbyists who quit.
Because when you do, you may realize you need to tweak a marketing strategy. You might discover that a better process works. You might find that your entire idea sucks, and you need to start from scratch.
But these realizations only happen when you show up and put in the work.
Jay Shetty's living experiences as a monk for three years were pivotal to growing his brand and credibility.
Yet, had Shetty made a different decision when he was younger, his current success may not exist. See, it was Shetty's friend who wanted to see a monk give a speech. But Shetty wasn't interested in seeing what a monk had to say.
"What could I possibly learn from a monk?" he asked himself.
Yet, his friend convinced him to go but only because they promised to visit the bar afterward. It turned out to be the life-changing decision that would lead him to become a monk and then an entrepreneur, author, and internet celebrity.
How does this relate to entrepreneurs?
The knowledge you currently possess is only a dip in the bucket. There is still so much to learn about growing an audience, building a business, and creating a life of financial freedom.
Even if you reach that six or seven-figure goal, your job isn't done.
Markets are always changing. Technology is continually evolving. And if you don't keep up, you'll get left behind.
Want a real-world example?
Look at Blockbuster. Blockbuster commanded the market for video rental services. They thought they had nothing to fear and did little to adapt when the online video streaming services popped on the radars.
Smart companies learned better.
Initially, Netflix was the most popular streaming service. Now, we're seeing competitors, like Hulu and Amazon Video, offer their own video streaming services.
Never rest on your laurels.
Arrogance might be the one thing that closes your doors for business.
If you want to learn how to do something, find a mentor. Shetty shares why mentors are among the best things you can do for your personal and professional growth:
"Find a mentor and role model and learn from them. Learn with them. Spend time with them and shadow them. Do their schedule with them," he said.
Observing and watching the people who have already done it is critical. Follow what they do. Understand how they show up in the world.
More than that, make sure you pick the right mentors.
If you want to excel in music, study Michael Jackson. And if you're going to level up your business, study Warren Buffett. If you're going to become a soccer professional, study David Beckham.
For Jay Shetty, he wanted to become the master of his mind and himself. Choosing from all the available mentors in his life, he understood that the monks were the best possible choice.
By living as a monk for three years, Shetty understood how to calm his mind, ease his breathing, and live a life in service and harmony with others.
It's a mistake to think that the road to success is one of solitude.
Relying on your own merits and knowledge can seriously impede the progress of your business. It might even spell the failure of your entrepreneurial journey.
Instead, rely on the wisdom of those who did what you're trying to do.
Shetty also offers words of warning:
"Be careful who your role models are. Just because someone has the car you want or the home you want doesn't make them your role model. Make it about their values, not their valuables... Your role model shouldn't be defined by their net worth. It should be defined by how they invest in relationships."
The key words in this wisdom are how they invest in relationships. Entrepreneurship is all about relationships — relationships with your customer.
Therefore, always return to what value you're creating for others. How can you deepen your relationships with your customer, and how can you increase trust?
As Jay Shetty likes to say, his work revolves around "making wisdom go viral."
It is this motto that underscores all the work he has done. His experiences as a monk translate into the products he has created, his speeches, and the content he produces. And his stories and wisdom resonate with people.
Jay Shetty's influence has even reached the platforms of big-name personalities and appeared on NBC, Ellen Degeneres' show, and Lewis Howes' podcast. He has also interviewed celebrities like Tim Ferriss, Khloe Kardashian, and Ray Dalio.
There is no definitive answer as to Jay Shetty's net worth. Various sources suggest that his net worth may range from $2.5 million to $4 million.
While we can't fully confirm the exact figure, we can recognize the various income sources that comprise his wealth. Shetty's income sources include (but are not limited to):
Jay Shetty's ethnicity is Indian. He is also British, as he was born in London, United Kingdom.
Jay Shetty and his wife practice Hinduism.
Jay Shetty practices Hinduism, which recognizes the existence of a god. According to History.com, "most forms of Hinduism are henotheistic, which means they worship a single deity, known as "Brahman," but still recognize other gods and goddesses."
Jay Shetty was born on September 6, 1987, and is 33 years old during this article's publication.
Jay Shetty is Indian, but he was born in London, United Kingdom.
Among the many Jay Shetty quotes out there, we close this article with this one:
"We may not be the best, but if we keep going longer, we will better ourselves."
Entrepreneurship and self-improvement share a lot of common ground. As you travel through life, you'll make mistakes, learn from them, and grow as a person. The same thing applies to starting a business.
If you keep going, you'll learn how to create a better product, better serve your customers, and learn what it takes to grow a successful business. And the great part is that you're not alone. There is a community where entrepreneurs can teach each other and learn from each other: The One Percent.
Inside The One Percent, we talk about tax strategies as one way to build a business and keep more of its revenue. That's just one piece of the puzzle for entrepreneurs seeking financial freedom. If you're just starting, check out this free training series - it's our best information all in one place. And when you're ready for a community of entrepreneurs that support each other like nothing else you've ever seen, join The One Percent.