Hailing originally from India, Gagandeep Baidwan came to the United States with his family in 1997. Baidwan’s father worked in the freight industry, which inspired him early on to pursue a career in the field. Now, many years later, he owns and operates his very own successful freight company, which allows him to make his own schedule and work for himself.
Having been self-employed in the industry now for many years, Baidwan has built a strong professional background in the sector. In addition to the hands-on experience, his many years in the freight industry have also helped him acquire practical knowledge about the industry’s inner workings. Looking to the future, Gagandeep Baidwan hopes to share his experience in the freight industry with others in order to provide tips, insight on current trends and other resources.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
My family has a longstanding background in the industry. I grew up learning about the sector and eventually found joy in the everyday responsibilities that are involved in the business. I eventually established my own company, and years later I am still learning about this fast-paced industry.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The benefit of working for myself is that I’m able to adapt my schedule to meet my current needs, so not every workday will look the same for me. Usually, I wake up early in order to really get a jump-start on my day. This doesn’t just set a productive tone for the rest of my workday; it also helps me make sure I’m able to find suitable routes for my drivers.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m a firm believer that too much thinking will suffocate an idea. That’s why I find a lot of power in immediate action. When I have an idea, I work quickly to assess its value. If it’s valuable, I leap—no hesitation. For me, that’s the key to success. It’s not enough to just think about doing something. You must act in order to succeed.
What’s one trend that excites you?
A push for more flexibility in the industry. Right now, drivers face too many regulations. It’s frustrating especially for those who might be closing a long haul and they’re just 2 or 3 hours away from home, but regulations force them to wait until finishing the trip.
It’s slow progress, but I think we’re starting to see more of a push for a re-assessment of those regulations, which might make room for a little more flexibility. I find that exciting and I’m hopeful new measures might make the industry easier to navigate.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m self-motivated and highly independent, which is a must-have in order to succeed in this industry. Having my own business means I have the luxury of being my own boss—but that doesn’t mean I can slack off. I hold myself accountable, stay motivated, and work hard.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to set out on your own and make your own path. As the owner of my own freight company, I get to work independently, and I only answer to myself. That type of responsibility can be truly daunting to some people, but I’m glad I had the courage to step up and push myself. The courage to take that leap and seize control of my own life was ultimately what led me to where I am now, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Owning a business and being your own employer isn’t all carefree and effortless, it takes a lot of hard work and self-motivation. In fact, it’s a lot harder than just working for somebody else, because it requires a lot of courage, self-regulation and painstaking work. You must have the whole picture in mind—not just a little piece of it. And if you fail for any reason, you have no one else to fall back on.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Waking up early. I never enjoy it, but it’s always worth it. Not sleeping in means I jump-start my workday with a productivity focus. It also keeps my mind clear, which helps me generate ideas and effectively solve problems.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Really caring about the people who work for me and striving every day to make their lives easier. I put in a lot of work to try and make sure that my drivers have suitable loads that match with their preferred routes. I went into this industry because work-life balance was important to me, so I also strive to give that to my drives. I plan routes that keep them close to home when there are events or family gatherings. I’ve found that investing in my drivers in that way really cultivates a culture of loyalty that’s helped my business grow. They’re the backbone to my organization—I couldn’t do what I do without them.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’m not sure if I would truly call it a failure, but I do wish I would have taken the leap to be my own boss earlier on. For me, having the freedom and independence to make my own decisions and dictate my own work-life balance has really transformed my life. I’m glad I chose to pursue this route when I did, but I also wonder about how much bigger my business could be right now if I would have started sooner.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There are a lot of apps out there on the market today that help long freight operators do their job. Truckers use apps like GasBuddy and Drivewyze, but I think a single cover-all application could really take off. It would serve as a navigation system that also features things like a weather function for driving advisories and updates on where gas is most affordable. An entire business could be built around just that program.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Nothing is more important than family and I truly cherish the time I get with them. The best $100 I spent recently was a restaurant bill for the last time we all ate out together. That time spent enjoying each other’s company is the reason behind everything I do.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Navigation apps and trucker maps are integral in helping me navigate the nuances of my job. They make the planning and logistics processes so much easier than they would be otherwise. These days, I can even book my freights online.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Its principles are both thought-provoking and practical, not just for entrepreneurs but for anyone. It outlines the core habits that successful people have and breaks down the steps you can take to cultivate those practices as well.
What is your favorite quote?
“You don’t get what you wish for; you get what you work for.” ― Daniel Milstein
● Hard work pays off
● Family is what’s most important
● Make your own path
● Have pride in what you do
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.