The idea is simple enough – if you don’t incorporate change into your life, nothing will be different. It’s one of the principles Suparna Bhasin, the founder and CEO of “She Creates Change”, teaches and lives by. In an excerpt from her website she says, “Through interactive workshops, intensive retreats, innovative books and media, plus a supportive community, we educate and inspire women to take action and make a difference in their world, ultimately leading to change everywhere.”
I interviewed her this week about her work, her life, and being Indian-American. Here’s what she had to say:
Tell me how you started this business; was there a catalyst that got you to this point?
I started my first business when I was 30, with a partner, and there was a lot of hit-and-miss in the process of understanding what it takes to run a business, to have a partner, etc. When we went our separate ways, I went into business with a second partner which involved life coaching for groups and individuals. That dissolved in 2008, but was the training ground for what I do now – speaking in front of groups, thousands of people, and was important in building a base for my career.
I had a desire to help people and as an analyst took on a role as a teacher. I enjoyed the training part and realized I wanted to help people with their lives. I thought I was going to be a therapist but then I found organizational psychology and then right after graduate school, I found life coaching.
Have you faced any challenges as a woman and as an Indian-American?
I wish there was a sexy answer to that. I don’t have a chip on my shoulder about being either a woman or being Indian. In fact at my first job, the brokers were mainly men, and the administrative assistants were women, and after the fact, I realized that a lot of the women resented me. Once, my finance counterpart (a Caucasian male) was asked to do something that I should’ve been asked to do, I remember going to my boss to complain. We got Indian food, he loved it, and he said to not have a chip on my shoulder about being a female and being Indian.
Now, I work with women, so there’s no discrimination there. And honestly, being an Indian-American woman is the very best thing I could ask for in my work as far as raising consciousness, appeal to women, and there is a reverence of Indian lineage, I reference the Vedas in my teachings and it makes me more relatable.
What’s the most rewarding part of your career?
Consistently, it’s about seeing a transformation happen within the community of women. It never gets old, getting a note or a letter saying thank you. And now that I
see them on a regular basis, it’s even more rewarding.
How has it influenced the way you live your life? Do you incorporate those teachings into your life?
I have to. I’m not perfect, but I have no choice. I don’t have a lot of vices because I can’t afford to. And in fact, when I wasn’t living what I taught, I had no clients. I don’t party anymore, I don’t drink.
What’s next for you?
I’m writing a workbook, creating an online community (due to be completed by the 4th quarter), with online videos and city chapters. I’d love to have the book out in January.
What advice would you give to people starting out in their careers, out of school or otherwise?
To paraphrase what someone told the world, “don’t get really good at something you don’t want to do.” I feel like people don’t listen to what their hearts say. A life worth having requires taking risks, letting go of the fear, and investing in yourself. The three big principles I’d like to share are: invest in yourself; build and surround yourself with a supportive community; and in order for things to be different, they have to be different, or no change = no change