Rhea punjabi, An Image and Self-Enhancement Coach empowers people to get out of a rut, get more confident, get more respect, get a date, get a job, get a promotion, get a child to listen, get a spouse to pay more attention, get off the couch, get out and get involved in the community— to get a life!
We have asked Rhea some questions about some of the highlights of her personal development philosophy and about her life.
Rhea, Tell us something about you and your startup.
As an image and self-enhancement coach, I am skilled at helping my clients to tap their innate potential and live a life of fullness. Over the last two years, I have conducted numerous group workshops and one-on-one coaching sessions focused on life skills, happiness and image management. I am especially passionate about working with the youth and enabling them to rediscover their self-confidence and self-belief.
I would describe myself as a friendly and outgoing person. I enjoy the outdoor life and travel within and outside India whenever I can. In my spare time, I love exploring new cafes and restaurants, reading inspirational articles and teaching. I whole-heartedly believe in the law of attraction and that all we are is a result of what we have thought.
What was your motivation behind venturing into this and what kind of struggles/ challenges did you face when you launched?
My decision to pursue a career as a self-enhancement coach stems from my personal struggle with low self-esteem and the nagging feeling of ‘not being good enough’. My younger self desperately wished for a genie who would magically help me overcome my irrational self-deprecating beliefs and wrecking emotional turbulence. Over several years, I worked on restoring and rebuilding my faith in myself, with remarkable success – I went on to pursue a diploma in Business Systems and Information Management from NIIT and an MBA in Retail Management, and worked with prominent organizations such as eBay India, Wipro Technologies and Localbanya.com in various sales and marketing roles.
And yet, I still knew it wasn’t enough. Deep within, I was driven by the powerful need to share the lessons I had learned along the way with others who, like me, were coming in their own way of living a life of fullness. I knew I had an entrepreneurial streak and wanted to pursue my own path, which led to me eventually switching streams to work as a coach and mentor.
It was not easy in the initial stage. People would wonder how I can sell a course on happiness. Well, they were right. Happiness cannot be bought but with little guidance, one can definitely work on being a happier individual. My happiness program is experiential and activity based. It aims to unsettle the limiting beliefs that each one of us has.
There are a lot of Soft Skills Trainers in the industry. Moreover, they penetrate the market at extremely low prices. Some trainers have many more titles attached to their profiles such as NLP, Facilitators, behavioral trainers, and Storytellers etc. To stand out of this crowd can be challenging at times especially when you don’t want to compromise on your charges because you are confident of the value you are going to bring.
Also, many people find my dressing too casual for an Image Consultant especially because I believe in no hassle dressing and hardly any make-up.
How did I solve these? It is a combination of self-belief, inner image management, the right attitude, persistence, various attempts to reach the right target audience, networking, coaching on call, complimentary workshops and much more. Three things that have always remained constant are gratitude, self-belief and being flexible.
Give us a brief background about founders and its core team members?
I have my sights trained on changing a million lives with my work, over the next ten years. From empowering people to break out of a rut and embrace new beginnings, to building their confidence, training them to get more respect, or even pursue their dream job (or date!), I am passionate about helping my clients to achieve it all. I have been certified as a Happiness Coach in association with the Berkeley Institute of Well-Being, California, and have studied image, style, wardrobe management and consulting from Image Consulting Business Institute, Mumbai. Further, I have also completed soft skills training from Image Consulting Business Institute, Mumbai (accredited by Scottish Qualifications Authority) and a Train the Trainer certification course from National Accreditation Board of Education and Training for which I received an all-India, all-time rank three. Over the last two years, I have trained more than 3000 people, worked with students, entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs, MMEs and corporate houses, as well as homemakers, helping them to create their own journeys of transformation and self-discovery.
Currently, I am the only person training in my company. My core team members help me with other aspects of the work.
Who do you see as competition and how is your startup different?
My biggest competitor is me. I strive to get better by the day. Each time I have a new assignment, I change my training strategy. I change the content, activities and approach so that there is always newness in my services.
There are many coaches, trainers, speakers and facilitators in the industry. I can’t really compare myself to anyone because each one of us is different. No training is complete till it doesn’t have an element of YOU in it.
My USP lies in the fact that I don’t have a fixed set of content or program for everyone. I personalize every program to suit the client’s needs. In any meeting or training, I talk from my personal experiences and battles with low self-esteem, lack of confidence, not being assertive etc. That’s the key to developing healthy relationships and adding a personal touch to your work.
I create a life of fullness for all my clients. Each one of us wants to enhance some part of our lives, be it personality, organizing oneself, releasing the emotional trash from within or upping our happiness levels. I work with individuals to solve these and enhance their lives.
What are the revenues and margins like in your industry?
Since it is a service-based industry, trainers decide their fees and margins based on the value they feel they can give to their clients
What are your future plans?
In the next five years, I see myself starting an academy, regularly running workshops and consultations to train the youth for a better tomorrow. These would be purely focused on life skills and leading happier lives.
Any advice you want to give budding entrepreneurs.
1. Spend time with yourself. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, we have forgotten who we really are. Nowhere on earth will you get such a peaceful and untroubled retreat.
2. Remember the 3 Ps in business- Passion, Patience and Perseverance. Even if one is missing, your business can go out of business