Presenting this very insightful conversation with Avneet Kohli, a mindset & communication coach, on a very needful topic, ‘Entrepreneurial Well-being’, especially for entrepreneurs who got their progress hampered amid the harsh COVID-19 scenario. While we still hope for new beginnings in this coming new year, it is important to empower our mindset at first place – keeping our confidence and enthusiasm ablaze to ultimately ensure both business and personal success.
Let’s hear it from Avneet,
LAFFAZ: Please brief us about your early life, educational and professional background, companies you’ve worked with, awards and achievements etc.
Avneet: It’s a journey that began in 2008 where a backstage announcement at an event opened doors I never knew existed.
After having spent my childhood in Abu Dhabi, my further education took me to the city of dreams, Mumbai.
Having no clue of what life had in store for me, I started taking up freelance assisting opportunities at events where one day by chance, the main celebrity performer’s introduction CD had cracked and they needed someone to do the introduction. Opportunities appear when you least expect them.
Over the next 8 years, I grew my speaking and stage experience working on possibly every format of a live event with reputed personalities across the film industry and with renowned brands such as Apple, Amazon, Samsung, L’oreal and the Trump organization to name a few.
They say practice makes perfect. Not sure about perfection but persistence and resilience, certainly did lead me to refining my craft over the years and get awarded as India’s Best Female Emcee in 2015.
After achieving this milestone, I was looking for the next challenge, that’s when I stumbled on a newspaper advertisement offering an Image Consulting course.
My experience on and off stage combined with this formal education led me to work with students starting out on their career path and organisations that were looking to upskill their manpower with respect to their visual packaging and communication. Whilst working with them I identified a gap and realized that external facets alone could not be sustained without an empowering mindset.
I went on to study various other modalities across psychology and human development which later resulted in me establishing The iOpener Project. The mission with iOpener is to help others instill self-belief and build the psychology and skills that fuel their personal and professional development.
LAFFAZ: When did you decide to be a mindset and personal development coach? Why is the subject of Mental Health important to you? What are your key objectives with MindShift?
Avneet: Working in the media and events business and reaching heights came at the cost of compromising my physical and psychological well-being at several occasions. On the outset, I seemed confident and accomplished, however on the inside I was fighting my own demons. I would struggle with these two identities. The smallest blow would drown me in self-doubt, insecurity and comparison. Persistent anxiety and an eventual burnout made me realise that clarity of purpose and self belief govern the quality of our lives.
I had never really taken the time to explore what I truly wanted to do. I was there by chance and was riding the wave.
My self exploration journey led me to a personal development course where I experienced how our mind can alter it’s path through the power of coaching.
This experience inspired me on the path of learning and development using coaching as a medium to help others disrupt self-limiting mindset patterns, build self-confidence and communicate with impact.
The objective with my show, MindShift, is to help viewers enhance their life and business by expanding the horizon of their mind. The show brings together interesting experts across science, spirituality and business to share perspectives, actionable tips and strategies that help every viewer invest in self-mastery.
LAFFAZ: According to a study by Michael Freeman, entrepreneurs are 50 percent more likely to have and report mental health conditions. What’s your advice for entrepreneurs?
Avneet: When we set out on our entrepreneurial path, most of us find financial resources to be limited but at times we lose sight of our personal resources which can be limitless. My advice is simple:
- Having a support community and mentor network are irreplaceable assets. Build these patiently over time, it will help you get through all possible problems one can face.
- Most importantly, be your own competition and measure of success.
LAFFAZ: Startup failures these days are being taken as personal failures, one of the very reasons why entrepreneurs are 2X more likely to suffer from depression and lack of confidence to start over. So, how to deal with this ‘I’m a company syndrome’?
Avneet: In my opinion, FAIL is a beautiful abbreviation for being the “First Attempt In Learning”. If one chooses to learn then one must understand that taking focussed and continual action is in her/his control, the outcomes are not.
Failure hurts. It’s okay for you to give yourself time to heal but it’s important to consciously decide when to draw the line. Dwelling on your failure tarnishes your perspective and keeps you stuck.
I encourage entrepreneurs to look at the failure analytically and gather the facts. Take a step back and ask yourself, Why did you fail? Was the failure in your control? What might have produced a better outcome? What will you now do differently? Gathering facts is the simplest way to step out of a negative mindset.
LAFFAZ: Are women more prone to mental health problems? The stereotypical mindset that still exists today and the fear of rejection are also the very reasons. What’s your advice for women?
Avneet: The fear of rejection shows up at many occasions for men and women, it might not be right to see one as more prone over the other since there are way too many factors and variables involved. Overcoming self-judgement and striking a balance certainly are challenges most women struggle with. To them I’d like to say that self doubt certainly has killed more dreams than failure ever will. Invest in growing yourself and you rather make mistakes and learn than not having tried at all.
LAFFAZ: According to you, what are some key aspects which entrepreneurs should know about mental health and personal development?
- There will be good days and there will be bad days, neither of them last forever. Don’t let the good days distract you and the bad days define you.
- Take the time to create a life, not business alone.
LAFFAZ: A big question, there are people who don’t share or report mental health problems due to the stigma associated with it. How can we ensure to create a culture that could dictate reporting mental health issues as normal and appropriate?
Avneet: Creation of culture is a process dependent on collective thought, and fortunately since a lot of awareness around mental health has already been created, I believe that we are not very far from the point of experiencing a cultural shift where our social fabric will accept mental health issues.
Very recently on World Mental Health Day, 10 October, the WHO hosted a global online advocacy event called the Big Event for Mental Health which was focussed to educate the world on what we can all do to improve our mental health and how we can provide mental health support to others who need it. More events like these from global organizations will certainly significantly contribute to people understanding the intricacies, thereby leading to removing the stigma associated with mental health issues.
On another note, introducing life skills as a curriculum in schools and universties will help nurture future generations to be well informed and look at mental health objectively.
LAFFAZ: Please share anything else about yourself or on the subject of mental health, maybe a personal quote from you, it will be flashed on the screen at the end of the video.
Avneet: Master Your Mind, Believe in Yourself & Work on your packaging.
LAFFAZ: Thank you for having time for this conversation on mental health, a subject that is really important for entrepreneurs especially the young and aspiring ones.
Avneet: I truly believe that growth is a byproduct of visibility. I admire Laffaz for creating a platform where small and early-stage entrepreneurs can share their story and get noticed. I’m excited to collaborate with Laffaz for my signature entrepreneur impact accelerator online program, SpeechCraft scheduled in December 2020. I trust that our partnership will provide startups with the right visibility and mentoring to chart their path to greater heights.