“Challenge yourself.” With Beau Henderson & Neeta Bhushan

Challenge yourself. It’s easy to get complacent. You’ve worked so hard your entire life! What is one thing that you can focus on where you are growing and expanding yourself. It’s such a dynamic time, with so much freedom but in that freedom requires structure so that you are baking in time for growth-related activities […]

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Challenge yourself. It’s easy to get complacent. You’ve worked so hard your entire life! What is one thing that you can focus on where you are growing and expanding yourself. It’s such a dynamic time, with so much freedom but in that freedom requires structure so that you are baking in time for growth-related activities coupled with rest and relaxation time.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Neeta Bhushan.

Neeta is an Emotional Health Educator and Executive Performance Coach to global leaders and CEOs, as well as to thousands of women from all walks of life. She has written two Amazon best-sellers Emotional GRIT and The Book of Coaching.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

My life has been shaped by a combination of the grit I was born into and my life experiences. My parents were immigrants — I had a traditional desi Delhi-Punjabi father — and they just wanted a better life for us, the American Dream. I became a child caretaker to my two younger brothers at age 10 when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She would pass when I was 16, after a six-year battle with the disease and so, I grew up in and out of hospitals. Exactly a year later I lost the older of my brothers and two years after that, my father X-rays revealed a big tumor in his lungs. It was lung cancer, stage four, and he had eight months to live.

By 19, I had this supercharged drive to prove my worth in society, to prove that my brother and I could get out of this dark tunnel. The next few years were achievement-oriented and all about climbing up the ladder. Throughout my teens and twenties, my focus had been on family and getting straight As and different opportunities work-wise. I was studying to become a dentist because all ‘good’ desi girls become doctors, dentists, lawyers…something with a professional tinge to it. The one thing I kept ignoring was focusing on myself, and this showed up in my relationships.” My abusive relationship with an ex-husband served as the wake-up call. And ending it became the turning point that would lead me to reassess my goals, start afresh, and ultimately retire from her dentistry practice and life as I knew it.

In my early thirties, I founded the Chicago-based Independent Awakening, a nonprofit dedicated to helping move the needle on self-confidence and self-love in women of color, primarily desi and Asians. Soon after, I was being asked to speak on behalf of myself [and not the nonprofit]. You have to have the strength and audacity as a person or leader to say no to the things you can’t fully commit to, and I put the nonprofit down to really focus on this next chapter. My first steps into these uncharted waters would lead me to the start-up world.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

I thought I could just film and put out my first course. I had no list at the time, I just thought if I “build it they will come”.

I was very very new to internet marketing at the time, just a baby and thought if I shout from the rooftops of social media I will get customers. Well I thought wrong…

After I did my very very first ever free masterclass in 2015, there was crickets!

I had no strategy, no follow up, no big ask, nothing. Just a bunch of supportive friends lol, but they weren’t the right audience. There’s so much I learned after my first floppy (I don’t even think we can properly call it a launch!), but super grateful because I tell my students & clients all the time!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’ve had several advisors and mentors along the way, I’m crediting them here because one particular mentor who was a venture capitalist at the time handed me a book. I was just very new to my own book club I began with a bunch of professional women all interested in personal excellence, and this book was called Philosophers Notes, basically a cliffs notes version of all of the spirit greats. This VC new I would probably love the book, and funny enough it was a winner for my women’s mastermind. Six months later I get invited to this personal growth conference, hosted by a company called Mindvalley and Mindvalley also happened to publish this author Brian Johnson. This was the same event where I would become an investor of Brian Johnson, thanks to the Philosophers Notes book and then meet my future husband, who was the CEO of Mindvalley at the time. All to one of my mentors who said, this book may change your life. It did in countless ways….

What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?

There’s an automatic assumption that to be seen doing more is cause for admiration. It suggests that those not seen to be going that extra mile or putting in astronomical work hours are considered somewhat lazy. The fact is that the human body can only do so much physically and mentally before it begins to shut down completely. Some entrepreneurs who’ve experienced burnout report that despite ticking off those boxes on a to-do list, they continue to feel unable to shut off after work or even relax for an hour or two. Just check yourself: Have You Lost Focus? By overworking, it’s easy to lose sight of what we’re trying to accomplish. By having a lack of focus, your end goals and indeed aims are clouded, which means you’ll often return to the same task over and over again, without even realizing that you’re doing it! Are You Seeing Any Rewards? By losing focus, you may find yourself putting in a lot of extra work and effort, and therefore expect some additional form of reward. Yet, without a clear direction, new customers, sales, and even profit aren’t usually forthcoming. This is perhaps one of the more prominent warning signs of impending burnout which also leads to the next sign. Do You Feel Like You’re Drowning? Perhaps, one of the worst feelings and clear indicators that you are indeed in the midst of burnout is that sense of suffocation, because of your role and all the responsibilities of your position. Unfortunately, most people only realize they’ve reached this stage with signs of stress-related illness or an actual breakdown. In my book Emotional Grit I share the steps to take to master emotions, transform thoughts, and prevent burnout.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

  • Mastering your EQ helps with efficiency and focus. When you are emotionally aware and cognizant of the attitudes that you bring to your projects, to your team, and with your workload you are more likely to stay on point and not get distracted. By this I mean, being fully aware of how to handle difficult conversations, paying attention to your body when you need a break etc.
  • Navigating the different personalities in the office. Understanding that everyone you encounter in the workplace has their own story behind them, so their reactions to you may not be personal but could be a coverup or aka a ‘projection’ of what they are really going through. Responding with empathy and compassion signals a highly emotionally aware person and creates a ‘safe space’ for others to let their guard down (that’s a great thing!).
  • Checking in with yourself, and knowing your boundaries with your team members. This is huge. Many CEOs, executives, as well as employees, have a tough time with this. On the one hand, you add so much to your plate that you are running on empty, and not being able to say no — in order to focus on your best value add.

Much of my expertise focuses on helping people to plan for after retirement. Retirement is a dramatic ‘life course transition’ that can impact one’s health. In addition to the ideas you mentioned earlier, are there things that one should do to optimize mental wellness after retirement? Please share a story or an example for each.

Challenge yourself. It’s easy to get complacent. You’ve worked so hard your entire life! What is one thing that you can focus on where you are growing and expanding yourself. It’s such a dynamic time, with so much freedom but in that freedom requires structure so that you are baking in time for growth-related activities coupled with rest and relaxation time.

How about teens and pre teens. Are there any specific new ideas you would suggest for teens and pre teens to optimize their mental wellness?

Know that making mistakes is totally okay and encouraged. It’s the ONLY way you will grow and learn the game of life. After each time you fall there is an opportunity to rise. Surround yourself with friends that support you, not knock you down. You are worthy and you are enough, remember that. Progress is better than perfection.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to build a community that thrives knowing their potential in the world, how to share their medicine in the form of their message, and scale our business as well as reach.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“When you want something; all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” — Paolo Coehlo

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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