As part of our endeavour to identify and share some of the powerful and meaningful entrepreneurship stories with BrilliantRead community, we invited Priyanka Dutta for an interview with us which she gladly accepted. Priyanka is one of the leading coachpreneurs. She is a certified Life Coach (Empowerment & Career) and also the founder of her newly started venture ‘People Essence’. Let’s read more about her journey!
Excerpts from our exclusive interview with her:
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your startup pls;.
I am a very passionate individual who believes in possibilities & creation. I love to experiment and challenge my limits. Moving out of the comfort zone is something that I embrace even if that scares me. And I believe in being truthful & doing what I love to do. I love taking risks and do things which are out of the box & not commonly adopted by people. Resilience, creativity, positivity, empathy, authenticity & intuition are my strengths. And I am a life-long learner. I am from Assam, the eastern part of India and now settled in Gurugram. My journey is interesting because it is full of ups & downs, it isn’t boring at all. I wanted to be a Doctor but picked up being an HR professional because I was left with no other option & I only wanted to do something involving people & contribute to their lives. I was pretty sure of that. After having a decade of experience in HR (which also includes 4 years of parenting sabbatical), I decided to dive deep into professional coaching. I had no idea what coaching is all about, until I gravitated towards it unknowingly because of an event which happened while I was in the corporate & it triggered deep thoughts in me about what I really wanted to do, whom I wanted to serve & why.
That deep introspection & search for meaning in my existence, led to my transition from a hard-core HR professional to a professional Coach. I am a certified Life Coach (Empowerment & Career) and a credentialed ICF Coach, ACC. I call myself a Coach-preneur because our journey is very similar to that of an entrepreneur.
We have to create our clients, the kind of clients that we would love to coach & make a positive difference to in their world. Coaching is a service, a great transformative service that is very effective & long lasting. Hence with that intent, I founded People Essence which is at a very nascent stage & I am looking at ways to develop it & build it to a level that would help people, my people to experience their gifts, their innate power & who they are, enabling them to walk their life path as they deem appropriate. As of now, I am known more by my brand name, Priyanka Dutta. I coach people leaders, start-up founders & transitioning individuals. I coach individuals who believe in their possibilities, their dreams, are willing to take committed actions, willing to be afraid & keep creating despite of that, willing to dance in the moment because their intention is far bigger than their insecurities & challenges. These individuals inspire me to be their coach, they are my people. I feel really drawn to serving them.
Why did you choose entrepreneurship over a job?
It just happened naturally. It is said that Universe guides you to your path & purpose, in its own subtle ways when you don’t listen to its whispers. I was guided in a similar way & I made the choice not to ignore it. I wanted to have the free-will to do what I loved doing without any unwanted interference & I wanted to be the creator of my working hours around my lifestyle so that I not only make an impact through what I do, but also have fulfilling relationships with my loved ones, nurture my hobbies & other interests like writing, travelling, speaking up my mind openly, having the freedom to be just myself. Everyone has gifts unique to them. I feel the gifts that I have of being a deep listener, empathetic, out of the box thinker, creativity, intuition & courage to challenge status quo makes me absolutely suited for the coaching profession & being an external to the corporate system, it gives me more advantage to really uncover what’s lying beneath. And I want to make a difference that way. All of these facilitated my choice of becoming a Coach-preneur.
What gets you out of bed in the morning i.e. what’s your source of motivation?
My passion, my work. After every coaching session I feel charged up & rejuvenated. I feel so happy to see the progress in my clients’ lives. It makes me feel as if I am helping them create & nurture their secret dreams. It gives me immense satisfaction & a sense of achievement. The fact that I am building a legacy by impacting people’s lives, gets me going. The fact that they trust me & share stuffs with me that is so confidential, personal & believes in me & my ability to support them in their journeys, give me the kick to do more & more of what I do. I am a self-motivated person & I draw inspiration from within, by connecting to the source, the light.
Why should people choose your services?
They don’t have to choose my service but they should choose what is right for them & for their growth. I don’t want to influence their decision making by attracting them to my service because I want to sell the service, but because they believe in my service & what I bring to the table. My clients are wise & diligent enough to make their own choices. They can speak to clients whom I had worked with, they can reach out to me at [email protected] for gifted sessions & if that resonates with them, they are wise enough to make the choice. If not, may be something else would serve them. And I would be happy to connect them with the right individuals. All I am keen on working with, are the individuals who are enrolled into their dreams & goals & not into me as a person. More than marketing, I believe in world class service & fitment of service. Let my work speak for me.
What challenges/obstacles did you face in your journey so far?
At every step I faced lot of challenges. I realized that most of the challenges were coming from me. Because of my inhibitions, my depth as a leader, my old patterns, my own perceptions based on life experiences, I resisted doing things that would have accelerated my growth. I was fixated on my survival mechanisms. Nevertheless, once I overcame challenges of my mind, my mindset after doing deep transformative work on myself; new results started pouring in. Basic challenges that I had to deal with were: scarcity & fear based mindset, overcoming habits that no longer served me, being able to say NO to assignments that I wasn’t very keen on doing, debunking the attitude of having a monthly pay-cheque & be used to looking at the big picture; managing my cashflow & expenses at some points etc.
Tell our audience more about your failures? How should one bounce back?
There is no cookie-cutter way. Everyone has their own way of dealing with failures & choice to bounce back. We all have low moments and feel like giving up. Many a times, at the spur of the moment & when faced with rejections after rejections, I too felt like giving up. But that was temporary phase of low. I knew that I was in the grip of my limiting mind & as I became aware, I embraced my limitless mind & its possibilities. I learnt to be okay with Nos. I recommend this book: “Go for No! Yes is the destination, No is how you get there” by Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton. This book made me fall in love with Nos & rejections. How to bounce back? Just make a choice to get up and walk. That’s all. When you love the journey, you embrace everything that comes with it, including uncertainties.
What comes first for you – money or emotions?
I was someone who had deep-rooted negative belief around money. And because of this, I was attracting scarcity in my life even if it was abundant. It’s all in the mind. See feeling scarce & actually living in scarcity are two different things. I was more of feeling scarce even after having abundance. With a scare mind, you don’t see your resourcefulness. But thankfully that changed. Money is important because to me it is a fuel that keeps you going & helps you to create more of what you want. But it is not the reason & the purpose for which I ventured out with my coaching service. My intention is to create positive impact in my clients’ lives by supporting them to help them achieve what they want to. That has a deep emotion attached to it. It gives me fulfilment & happiness. But yes money is the by-product, the fuel of the service. More the impact you create, more the money you create. That’s how I look at it. Emotions come first and money is the means to create more of that emotion.
How do you handle the pressure and manage stress?
Stress is our creation not the reality. Targets are there, but stress is something that we pick up based on what explanation we give to what we have to achieve, what we believe we can achieve & what attachment we put to the outcome. A thought is the worst thing that can happen to you as spiritual teacher, Byron Katie puts in. And I consciously put thoughts that empower me and hence I don’t stress out. Yes, I am human & I do feel the pressure, but I am aware of this and I leverage that energy to enable me not to deplete me but to give me more strength to create. Stress shuts down creativity & ability to think rationally & productively. I give self-love in the simplest form by taking deep breathes & allowing myself to sink into that anxiety & embrace it fully to be able to propel with greater velocity. Meditation helps me to be calm, have clarity & be connected within.
What advice would you give to someone starting out, particularly to aspiring women entrepreneurs?
I don’t believe in telling others what to do. I believe in figuring out what to do. And in coaching that’s what we do. We don’t advice but elicit the answers from our clients because we believe they are whole, complete & resourceful. And the chances of doing what you believe is true, is higher than when others tell you what to do. That is a skill that needs mastery & it is long lasting. Nevertheless, I would invite the aspiring women entrepreneurs to see if adopting these would serve them:
You bring the value to the table yourself. No one else. So, believe that you are valuable & that what you are intending to create is of value. Make the first sale to yourself. If you are convinced, the world will be convinced.
Confidence comes from within when you take actions. It isn’t when you achieve what you want to but the day when you decide to stand up for your “why” is the day you sowed the seed of confidence. Let it shine in every action & step of yours.
Spend more time in figuring out why and what you want to do. How to do will be easily figured out once you are clear with why & what.
Don’t listen to the inner critic, that little voice that will usually tell you that you can’t. There will be lot of people even telling you the same. Stand up against your inner & external demons.
Leverage the feminine power. Femininity has its own unique power. Accept that. When you are authentic & believe in your own power, you inspire others to believe in you & your service. Don’t act like a man when you aren’t. Be you.
Play with your strengths. Where you put your focus, energy flows. So, know what you are good at & play with it.
Have fun while in the journey. Don’t rob yourself of by stressing out. Take it as a fun game & keep playing. Embrace Nos graciously.
Develop your craft-mastery, be a life-long learner, develop your leadership skills by taking actions in the ground. You see you will grow in the journey and along with it, you will produce/create the product/service that you want to give to the world. Strive for excellence & never settle for mediocrity.
Believe in possibilities, work on your blind spots, develop skills that are required for an entrepreneur. As you walk the path, you will figure out what is good for you and what isn’t. Learn from others but believe in your uniqueness. Trust your intuition.
Hire a coach that will support you to achieve what you want in a much lesser time than what you have estimated. Invest in your own growth. More you grow, more your service will flourish.
Follow Priyanka Dutta at:
Website – www.priyankadutta.com
E-mail – [email protected]
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