Women Of The C-Suite: “You Get Paid More For Being More You” With Geeta Nadkarni

You Get Paid More For Being More You: I actually stole this line from one of my favourite clients, Michelle Mercurio, who is an incredibly…

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You Get Paid More For Being More You: I actually stole this line from one of my favourite clients, Michelle Mercurio, who is an incredibly talented brand strategist. To me, it represents the invitation to go from just pure hustle into flow. When you finally give yourself permission to show up as you are, when you accept yourself so deeply that you stop seeking external validation, THAT’S what I consider becoming the goal. That’s when instead of chasing clients, they start coming to you.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Geeta Nadkarni, professional speaker and business coach, founder of Be More Possible, a coaching company that is obsessed with helping entrepreneurs deepen their expertise, seek attention and make millions helping those they were put here to serve.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ve been lucky enough to have been raised by an entrepreneur in an extremely entrepreneurial culture. I grew up in Mumbai, India and I remember my Dad telling us the story of how he quit his cushy job with the company car and benefits to set out on his own. He’d had a disagreement with this then-boss and refused to compromise his ethics. I was just a few months old and everyone told him he was being irresponsible and selfish.

He gave himself 3 months to make it work — that’s all the savings he had anyway. 10 weeks slipped by without a single client for his newly minted Marco Inc. management consultancy. Being a world-ranked badminton player had given him the discipline to treat the challenge as a practice rather than a test. So he kept his cool and kept hustling. In the last 2 weeks, he closed 3 clients and has never looked back.

My Dad taught me to constantly raise the bar on my abilities, invest in myself and charge what I’m worth. And I’ve inherited his practice-based way of thinking so I have developed the mindset and stamina to stay in the game long after others would quit. Today I use my abilities as a messaging and PR coach to help coaches and consultants overcome their limiting beliefs to making money, design premium programs and create massive credibility for themselves using media exposure.

That combination — premium offers and press — is not for the faint of heart. You have to really clean up your mindset and build a deep reservoir of self trust to be able to get in front of millions and charge what you’re truly worth.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

Back in 2014, I had been doing some 1-on-1 consulting around storytelling and media strategy for a nonprofit and a couple of entrepreneurs. It was decent money and, as a young mother, I enjoyed being able to flex my schedule, even though I ended up working till all hours trying to hold it all together.

I knew deep down that I needed to break past the dollars-for-hours trap. Any kind of 1-on-1 work meant I was going to hit a ceiling well before I hit any kind of goals in terms of the impact I wanted to create. I had started following some internet marketers at the time and realized that, having grown up in newsrooms and morning story meetings in various countries, I had some seriously valuable intel to share with the world.

I had gotten my first paid writing gig when I was 12 and since then, had voraciously honed my craft. By the time I was ready to put together my first online program, I had more than 22 years of experience picking the types of stories that were destined to be big. I knew how to grab a busy TV producer’s attention, how to craft sound bytes that made it past an editor’s delete-happy fingers and how to position an expert so that their contact info got shopped around the newsroom.

Of course, I’d never actually created a course of any kind before. And I had no idea how to make all the tech work. I knew I needed help. If I didn’t get help, this vision would remain just that. So I made the terrifying decision to spend almost all my savings on online programs to help me build my own. And with just $300 left in my bank account, I hired my first assistant to keep me organized and accountable.

Those decisions showed me just how serious I was about this leap I was making. EVERYONE in my life told me I was crazy, irresponsible and a gullible idiot for investing my faith (and life savings) in the help I’d purchased to help me build my dream.

But I just KNEW. And when that knowing got shaky (and it often did), I would go out for long runs and repeat in my head like a mantra, “The only way I will fail is if I freak out, I will not freak out.”

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The Universe has a sly sense of humour. After struggling for months to fill my calendar on the 1-on-1 work, RIGHT when I made the decision to fire all my consulting clients so I could finally commit to building my program, I got 3 referrals for the 1-on-1 consulting.

It made me CRAZY!! I felt so torn!

The idea of saying no to them was excruciating because I desperately needed the money. But because I had worked so much on my sureness, I played from a place of purpose rather than fear and instead of saying “no”, I invited them to take my about-to-launch program.

This was pretty wild because you have to remember, I’d been a journalist and performer my whole life but I’d never ever done phone sales before. What I lacked in skill and knowledge, I made up for in belief.

Two out of the three said yes and suddenly, I had the cash with which to pay Juniper, my assistant. I made three more sales that first month and was profitable in our first 30 days! Our program worked so well that all 5 of our beta customers got the results they wanted (and more) and next thing you know, I was being referred as a speaker and PR coach and our company hit six figures in the first five months.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I provide that rare combination of helping folks use the media not just to gain exposure and build credibility but to do so in a way that makes it possible for them to charge at the high end of their industry. Their prospects EXPECT them to be expensive.

Our secret sauce is that we work with clients NOT just on the strategic parts of pitching the press (we have templates that have landed clients everything from TEDx talks to national media exposure to their own columns in magazines like Inc. and Entrepreneur) but also on their subconscious blocks.

Because you can give someone all the strategy in the world, but if deep down they feel like a fraud, they will self sabotage any success they have. Helping folks overcome their deepest limiting beliefs and giving them the tools to keep doing this moving forward is how we’ve helped so many grow from struggle to making multiple 5 figures per month often within the first 60 days of working with us.

For example, one of our clients Steven Kuhn, who is a decorated US army veteran and turnaround specialist (he helps struggling companies monetize in the immediate term), came to us puzzled by why he was not able to turn his considerable following into serious cash. We immediately uncovered multiple limiting beliefs around self worth and money and, despite Steven’s original skepticism, he worked with our staff hypnotherapist and guess what? 8 weeks later, he had made $100K from opportunities that were right under his nose, that he had previously been unable to perceive because his mindset was getting in the way.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I am beyond excited to put our existing programs under our new brand “BE MORE POSSIBLE”. It is a personal development and physical products company that I have been afraid to admit I wanted to build. I want to be the Lululemon of personal development — to create talismanic apparel and products that will help people unlock their most possible selves.

I’m doing it by leading by example. I’m living my impossible dream and sharing the journey daily on my Instagram and Facebook so I can light the way to how others can live their seemingly impossible dreams too.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

I think there is too much emphasis on the no-pain-no-gain, hustle harder than anyone else mentality. I believe that method makes people get overfocused on the finish line instead of falling in love with the journey.

As women, we have to stop trying to beat men at this game. Instead I believe in leading from a place of self trust. Of doing the inner work that allows me to trust the voice of my intuition even if it flies in the face of what all the industry gurus are saying. After all, if I want to be a disruptor for positive change, I am going to have to do things differently and for that, I need to treat self trust as a practice. Something I condition and strengthen every day. That way my feelings of success come from the INSIDE — not some external revenue goal or finish line.

In practical terms, this is the difference between setting the goal to “I want to build a billion dollar coaching company that does physical products” (the hustle way) and “I want to have so much fun trying to build a billion dollar coaching company that does physical products that so many people join me that the company builds itself.”

Very different energy. One is goal focused. The other is growth focused. I believe in growth over goals.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

Our job as leaders is to condition BELIEF above all. We need to sell the dream every single day so those who are working with us to build it are consistently nourished by the process.

I believe in CLARITY — that’s a top down thing. If we, as leaders, aren’t 100% sure what we want to build and what we want our team to FEEL along the way, they’re going to wander in too many directions. So I have a meditation and physualization (visualization using my whole body) practice that I do every day to keep me connected and clear so I can lead in the right direction.

I believe in GROWTH — In order to have sustained financial growth, we need to invest in each person’s spiritual, personal and professional growth. I buy my team books, send them to seminars and pass along what I learn. One of my mentors, Chris Guerreiro, who helps build 8-figure companies in under 24 months, confirmed that creating a “learning organization” is essential to create and sustain exponential growth.

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?

My husband. He is our Chief of Operations, which has often meant he does everything from managing the team to picking up my emails and contacting folks if I’m running late from one meeting to the next. It’s an aggravating and unglamorous job. He’s the guy who runs our Asana and makes sure we stay on top of tasks.

It’s easy to jump off cliffs when you know you have someone on your team who will arrange for there to be a trampoline waiting for you. Pat’s that guy. I bring the energy and the vision and the unshakeable belief and he takes care of the logistics that turn that belief into something tangible.

It hasn’t always been easy — we’re opposites in many ways, so it’s easy for us to trigger each other and for that angst to seep from the boardroom into our personal lives. Working with your spouse forces a level of growth

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I am no guru. I am not perfect. For me, coaching others is an opportunity to examine where their struggles and stories live inside my own life. This attitude has allowed me to move towards challenges that others back down from; to treat obstacles and challenges as opportunities. And to expand my vision to include a billion dollar physical products arm that energizes, empowers and creates a community of people unafraid to go after their most audacious dreams.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

1.FAILURE IS AN INVITATION: I recently “failed” at not one, but two endurance events. The first was where I attempted to climb a private mountain 13 times in 36 hours to recreate the elevation and mileage gain of Mount Everest. I only managed 10 summits. 
Shortly after, I signed up for a marathon but ended up running just half. The feelings I noticed after each of these “failures” revealed to me my pattern of hooking my sense of self worth to external circumstances. Of deliberately setting goals and then putting pressure on myself that made me feel inadequate and loserly. I used to think that I would build trust in myself by completing challenges like these no matter what (even at the risk of injury or harm). Now I see that the real way to build trust is to actually practice self trust SEPARATE from any outcome. It allowed me to widen my perception of what winning actually looks like and to be able to recommit to the growth instead of the goals. Here’s a video I made about it.

2. TRUST YOURSELF: Failure happens when you lose faith in your ability to stay in the game. Every time I’ve given up on something, it has been because deep down I stopped believing that I was good enough to have/lead/accomplish it. The more I practice daily meditation, hypnosis and mindfulness, the more I feel sure that the Universe has picked me to lead the Be More Possible movement. Which means I don’t have to feel rushed or panicky. I can enjoy the sense of urgency that comes from doing big things and making big decisions, but I trust that I will always make the right choice. Because everything that comes up is an invitation to growth and that is ultimately what I’m here on this earth to experience. The details are almost beside the point.

3.INVEST IN YOURSELF: I believe we’re a collective consciousness. The more I mature and the bigger my dreams get, the more I realize I’m not meant to bring them into existence alone. I am constantly investing in coaching, team, fitness and nutrition and other tools for self development. The bigger my mission gets, the more permission I have to continue to do so, because every dollar and minute I invest in my own development is a dollar and minute I invest in the development of those I lead and serve.

4.ACCEPT YOURSELF: This is a tough one for high achievers, because often we’ve accomplished great things by thumbing our noses at those who’ve doubted us. We work EXTRA hard because deep down we’re terrified that they might be right. And while this method certainly works in the short term, I believe that to accomplish truly monumental goals, to really lead a movement rather than just create a successful company, we have to switch our mechanism of intrinsic motivation. I’m certainly only learning to do this, but I find I have more juice with which to stay the course when I work from a place of self trust and self acceptance. It prevents me from making foolish, short term decisions that get me to a particular goal at all costs, and keep me thinking about the larger, longer term vision.

5.YOU GET PAID MORE FOR BEING MORE YOU: I actually stole this line from one of my favourite clients, Michelle Mercurio, who is an incredibly talented brand strategist. To me, it represents the invitation to go from just pure hustle into flow. When you finally give yourself permission to show up as you are, when you accept yourself so deeply that you stop seeking external validation, THAT’S what I consider becoming the goal. That’s when instead of chasing clients, they start coming to you.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire 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. 🙂

BE MORE POSSIBLE is exactly that for me. A movement of people who’ve finally stopped dreaming their dreams in private and are stepping out to lead their own movements. We’re taking actions both small and big towards our goals every single day and sharing the joy, the angst and the learning along the way. As we each build momentum individually, so too does the collective and then the tides rise and everyone gets swept along.

My vision is to make beautifully designed physical objects — clothing, lifestyle products, journals — that are talismans. Physical reminders and bridges to connect people to the excitement of possibility. And I can’t wait to start selling these so the @bemorepossible Instagram feed will be filled not with my stories but with YOURS.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” — Cynthia Occelli

Every time I’ve gone for a dream, it has been the most terrifying thing ever. I feel like a fraud, like I’m going to be found out at any moment. I used to think it meant I was overreaching. But having surrounded myself with some incredibly successful people (millionaires and billionaires who have great work life integration and embody the kind of positive energy I aspire to bring into the world), I realize that almost everyone has some version of imposter syndrome. And that it’s merely a symptom from having taken a decisive step towards the next phase of our evolution. I’ve learned to reframe that fear as excitement. And to keep putting myself in situations that call it up so I can always stay connected to the deep understanding and compassion required to help others through it.

This quote has given me permission to reach for my wildest dreams and lead by example.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :- )

Without question, Sara Blakely and/or Casey Neistat. They both embody this incredible energy of being more possible. Of leading by example and rewriting the way things are done by the sheer power of their willingness to go for it. Without knowing the outcome. Without knowing the how. Despite the same paralyzing fear we all feel.

When I experience them telling their stories, what I hear is permission to just do it — whatever “it” may be. And to have to courage and compassion to trust myself and to know that I am always in the right place, doing the right thing. My definition of success is to have so much fun trying that you become the goal; you become a walking permission slip for others to be more possible.

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