Ruhina Mehra

Join us as Ruhina shares her inspiring story of introspection, evolution, and self-discovery. Listen in as she candidly discusses her decision to pivot from corporate culture to embrace a career that resonates with her authentic self. This is a profound conversation about the courage it takes to step off the prescribed path, embrace vulnerability, and seek personal fulfillment beyond societal expectations. If you’ve ever questioned your life’s direction or felt the pull to something more meaningful, this episode is for you.

Ruhina Mehra

About the Guest

A certified Holistic Coach, Ruhina is a South Asian Authenticity Coach & Guide who helps you strengthen your relationship with your deepest self, so you show up living life with greater confidence, clarity, ease, and joy. 

She provides one on on coaching sessions and group workshops that provide you with the tools & support you need to increase self-awareness, and reach a place of fulfillment and joy in your life.


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Audra Carpenter


Ruhina Mehra


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Episode Transcript

*What follows is an AI-generated transcript may not be 100% accurate. 


[00:00:00] Audra: All right guys. Welcome back to another episode of The Mess in the Middle, welcome to the show, Ruhina. I appreciate you being here, and let’s take a few minutes to talk a little bit about your journey and how you’re showing up on the planet right now.

[00:00:52] So Ruhina: please join us. Yeah, I’m so excited to be here at The Mess in the Middle and just excited to, put, hopefully put out something inspiring for someone out there and to also hopefully listen to more inspiring stories that come through from you. and so happy to share my journey. So my journey is a, and my story, is really about coming from a South Asian immigrant family with a very high emphasis on, What can we achieve in life?

[00:01:20] Like, how do we get safety? How do we get financial safety? That’s the biggest thing most people see as safety is like financial means and to some degree status as well. So how do we get there? that was always, and for not even, for immigrant families, I’m sure this is for people across the board.

[00:01:35] we’re all striving, especially in western culture, to achieve constantly. [00:01:40] So that’s what I was taught. That’s what I believed was completely normal and I followed that path my whole life. Like I am valuable if I achieve. So I Did this whole, the thing most people do, I went to school, went to college, and I went to grad school.

[00:01:54] I started working my corporate career and. Each time I did that, I had a few, I kept changing things around. I was, first I thought about gonna like med school and I was like, no, that, that seems like a lot, for someone who’s like a sensitive person like myself. Yeah. I like tried a few different things, just shadowed doctors, things like that.

[00:02:13] I was like, no, maybe that’s not the right path. then I ended up going to grad school for health administration is what I got my master’s in. And, my goal has always been really to help people and I was like, oh, I can help people this way. and after, A few years in the corporate grind and like being like, I imagined myself here.

[00:02:29] this is where I imagined myself and I still am not satisfied. So what’s going on? And you talked to my family about it. They were like, no, this is life. This is, this, is it this?

[00:02:41] Audra: I get that too. no. There’s nothing else. This is it. Yeah. I’m like, you gotta be wrong. There’s gotta be something else.

[00:02:48] No,

[00:02:49] Ruhina: exactly. And I was like, this is it. this is the end journey that we’ve been striving for. and that feeling of just not being fulfilled or satisfied. and then I hit a point in about four years ago where I realized I don’t think this is how I can continue, living forever.

[00:03:05] It’s just not sustainable for my mental wellbeing. and for my soul, really. sure. So I started to explore different paths. I had what I would call like a [00:03:20] spiritual like moment of awakening almost. but it’s more than that. I, what I realized is oh my gosh, I have not been present my whole life.

[00:03:27] I’ve just been. Trying to achieve one thing after the next, not really thinking, yeah. About how I feel in the moment. And that was the biggest like takeaway out of everything, And there’s so much more I talk about, of course, but the biggest thing I was like, I have to be present. And it’s about the journey.

[00:03:42] It’s not about to the end, whatever it is, like X, Y, Z, like I, none of it matters if I can’t be with myself and happy with myself right now.

[00:03:54] Audra: that’s a lot it takes. How old do you think you were when you started exploring what that look would look like for you?

[00:04:01] Ruhina: when I actually let myself explore that I was 29, that’s when I like, because I did everything and it was always like, oh no, it’ll get better, like when this happens or it’ll get better.

[00:04:11] once I finish grad school, it’ll get better. Once I start working, it’ll get better. Once I get a promotion, it’ll get better once I like, get a partner, have a family, what all the things. And then I was like, it just doesn’t seem like it’s getting better.

[00:04:25] Audra: Even when you achieve those, that’s the even more disappointing thing, that once you actually get that, absolutely.

[00:04:32] It’s kinda empty.

[00:04:34] Ruhina: And that’s the thing that’s hard is because you can’t even learn that lesson without hitting those goalposts almost, or those like milestones. And once you get there, you’re like, what? I’ve been taught that this is what I, I’m gonna get outta, this is where I get everything I want outta life.

[00:04:48] And then you realize, no, that’s really not it.

[00:04:51] Audra: Now, you know though you were young to figure that out. A lot of people don’t actually see that, or people that I’ve ran into till they’re in their forties, if they’re [00:05:00] fortunate. Remember, we all evolve at different things and sometimes something either really negative happens, you have some kind of trauma in your life, or somebody gets you on a path or you’re just so unsettled.

[00:05:13] That you start to explore that on your own to figure out, yeah, there’s gotta be something else out there for me. There’s gotta be more to it. I think all of our, to tie it to entrepreneurship and, next, we’ll get into that for you, but I think that’s that pivotal moment where you say, I was on this path because that’s what I’ve been groomed to do, or that’s what I was expected to do, or whatever it is, Yeah. Regardless if it was intentional or not, it’s the path you ended up on, but you feel just so unsettled that it’s I’m not living my purpose. I don’t know what my purpose is. I just know it’s not this, and I need to explore to see what else is there.

[00:05:50] Ruhina: Yeah, and like you said, I was lucky when I. I figured it out at 29.

[00:05:54] A lot of people, like you said, figured out later in life. And I think also though, I think this is because of two things. I think, the corporate grind in the last, I, of course I wasn’t alive, over 40 or so years ago. But,I think it’s gotten really intense in the last few decades, especially, and people are burning out like faster than ever.

[00:06:13] I’m seeing it, at least I assume I, it’s hard for me to compare of course, With other generations. But, I’m seeing people just burnt out constantly in my generation. and the second thing which I want us to talk about, cause I think it’s important to put out there, is that I am a very sensitive person.

[00:06:29] And I, because of it, I’m very deeply connected to my emotions and my body, and so I can, and not, I don’t, from my observation, I don’t think everyone is always like that. people have the ability to push [00:06:40] their emotions down or they can push things down and hide them. I’m not capable of that.

[00:06:44] if I’m sad, like I have to feel it and sit in my sadness. And the good thing about it is, I can quickly process my emotions then and let them through me. but I also, I just wanna mention that because a lot of people see being sensitive as, like not a goodness. Yeah. and especially in the corporate world, it’s don’t show emotion, just do your job.

[00:07:05] Don’t show people like what you are underneath all that. And I just don’t believe in that. I think it’s okay. to be who you are

[00:07:11] Audra: everywhere. Which you should be, because at the end of the day, you’re the only one. I started learning that in my thirties. I was in a sales position. And I was one of the few females in a primarily male industry.

[00:07:26] And I had to wear a lot of different masks where I felt like I was a little bit of a chameleon. And, fast forward, I did that for five years. I was like, I don’t even know who I am. I need to step back and say, what’s that old Julia Roberts movie? the bride.

[00:07:44] Runaway Bride, where she’s I need to figure out what kind of eggs I like, Yeah. Cause she was changing her whole being for the different partners. I felt like I was doing that in work. I could be this person with this person. I could, and then I could be more professional here and I could be juvi here and whatever I need to be to work in that.

[00:08:03] And I was just like, God, I don’t like any of this. Yeah. And same thing, just, get to a place where I saved up a bunch of money and I quit work and went out on my own. Yeah. It’s scary, but I was so incongruent with what I was doing. It was painful. [00:08:20]

[00:08:20] Ruhina: No, I completely align with that. I did the same thing finally in the last year or so.

[00:08:24] I like was able to make the leap, Yeah. figure out what it is that I wanted to start doing and move through it. But I’m, even in my newer journey, I’m, I feel like I’m in the middle, but it’s a much more satisfying middle. Like I’m present, I’m. Like, I can enjoy the middle now without constantly thinking, oh my gosh, I have to reach this end goal.

[00:08:44] Good, good. focus goals, we, it’s good to have goals. But if you can’t enjoy the process of reaching those goals, what’s the

[00:08:50] Audra: point? So do you remember a moment in time where you just said, I’m not doing this anymore and I don’t know what the tomorrow looks like, but it’s time I gotta go?

[00:08:59] It was

[00:09:01] Ruhina: a slow. During, not slow, but there were a few different points I think that, that happened for me. so it started four years ago. I actually went on a three week vacation.

[00:09:12] I came back on and then I was like, oh, I should be like rejuvenated and excited, go back to work. And I went back to work and I was like, oh no, I’m not rejuvenated at all. And I’m just like, not happy to be here. And I think in that moment I was like, that was like the light bulb moment for me that was like, oh.

[00:09:30] I can’t do this forever. And then I had another thing, so I was single at the time. I’m still single, but at the time I was always waiting like, oh, once I get a partner, there’ll be financial stability. Then I can like, explore other options, things that make me happy. It was always in the back of my mind.

[00:09:44] I hadn’t fully faced it or looked at it, but I was like, it’ll happen, whatever, Around that same time, I was like, wait, I’m sitting here waiting for this magical thing to happen to me or this thing that like, could happen tomorrow, it could happen in 10 years. I don’t know the timeline.

[00:09:59] and that [00:10:00] hit me too and was like, I need to figure out what it looks like for me today, like what my happiness in my present looks like. Like fulfill version of me looks like in my present, right? So those two things happens simultaneously. Okay. Say what do I start looking for? How do I search for the right answer?

[00:10:18] And I’ve always really loved people. I’ve always really loved helping people and touching people and mental health has grown a lot in the last, I would say. Maybe five or six years, or even maybe a little longer. But, I’ve heard about it a lot more, but I always cared about people and I never thought to put the two together, oh, you could work in this field.

[00:10:36] and so I started taking courses, like coaching courses and, other courses just to help build that muscle and build that skill and see if I really liked it. I wanted to test it out. Yeah. And I did enjoy it. I like practice with people. I really enjoyed helping people get to. The root of their issues and moving forward and with their lives, the way they saw, their lives.

[00:10:56] but I wasn’t ready to commit to it a hundred percent. And What happened then was I actually made a move from the east coast to the west coast, and I’m now in California. this is about two years ago, and I started another job. And that job I switched from let’s see the tech world more into the public health world.

[00:11:13] And I was like, okay, public health, like that’s my background. More and like I’m helping people. That’s really what I wanna do. It was always, that was the core of everything I tried to do. It was like, I wanna help people, but how do I do it? And when I was doing that job, it was definitely touching people, but too far away, like too far removed.

[00:11:29] What would give me satisfaction. And I was like, I’m still not there. And it was after that job, I was like, all right, I think I know the answer. I’ve been building this up for several years. It’s just a [00:11:40] matter of taking the leap. And so about a year ago, I was finally ready. Like I was like now or never, if I don’t do this now, I’m gonna sit here waiting for how many years.

[00:11:49] So let me

[00:11:50] Audra: ask. So why not just find a, as educated as you are, why not just find another job that gets you working with the.

[00:11:57] Ruhina: Yeah, that’s definitely a possibility. it, I pondered on it, and I went back and forth and I was like, I have a certification. but for me to, coaching was not that big.

[00:12:06] I think coaching as a job only became big in the last maybe year or so, and I wasn’t fully aware of it. and it was also the lifestyle, quite frankly, that I was like, I wanna be able to take a vacation. When I wanna take a vacation. I don’t feel encumbered by a schedule. Like I want to be able to live my life freely and, work with the people that I wanna work with that wanna work with me.

[00:12:31] and then also have time for the other things that I really care about. Okay. So that’s where I was trying to

[00:12:36] Audra: get to. Yeah. Yeah, because that’s a component of entrepreneurship that I don’t think a lot of us, give as much credit as we. We were, you’re right when you go back to, look, 40 years ago, at least when I was growing up as a kid, parents worked, they had corporate jobs, they stayed at ’em till they retired.

[00:12:56] it was just, that was what was expected of you. You get a job, you start at the bottom, you work your way up, and then you go there. Now, my generation did of course start changing things. I’m not that old, but for my parents, when they were kids, and for my grandparents of course, but. they didn’t explore that.

[00:13:12] Even if they thought about or tried to imagine what life could be like with freedom. With being able to say, you know what, Tuesdays and [00:13:20] Thursdays I’m working half days and Fridays I’m gonna do this and not have to worry about is money still coming in? Am I providing for my family? Am I disappointing anybody?

[00:13:29] Am I meeting expectations? all of that kind of goes away when you’re able to say, I’m living my best life. Yeah. And if that’s 10 hours a week, And you can provide for your family and have that freedom. Oh my gosh, what better gift in life than that?

[00:13:46] Ruhina: No, absolutely. It’s funny because we’re just so in it now.

[00:13:50] We’re so deep in this corporate lifestyle. Yeah, forget and don’t even real, or don’t even know. forget. we don’t even know that there are other possibilities. and I was lucky to be shown those possibilities. Just like through taking all these courses, I started seeing women entrepreneurs and I never realized before, oh, this is a path.

[00:14:09] You can work for yourself and yeah, you have to hustle in different ways. You have to do things and work hard, but there’s a joy that comes from that’s so different from working, for someone else and feeling so constrained by Like schedule, or eight hour, whatever it is.

[00:14:25] Yeah. there are times now that I work, like I work at midnight, It’s fine cuz like I’m doing something, you’re choosing it. We care to do that. And there’s days where I forget like what the schedule is and I’m just like, I have to do 10 things and like the whole day’s gone working.

[00:14:38] But it’s okay because I’m happy with it.

[00:14:41] Audra: Yeah. That I think is a big difference as well. When you have a job, you have to do what your employer expects of. And again, that’s what you were hired for. So it’s not that you can complain about that cuz you’re trading time for dollars.

[00:14:54] Yeah. but when you are on your own, it’s a completely different thing. I haven’t spent much time of [00:15:00] my career in corporate. I have very few jobs have I ever had in a corporate environment, but I did do. My first entrepreneur thing, sorry. I had coffee shops in California and when I moved to the East coast, I actually went to work for Starbucks.

[00:15:16] so painful. So I almost felt like I was in a straight jacket. It was so painful. And don’t get me wrong, Starbucks is an amazing business model and tremendously successful because it does one thing, right? It. Controls every part of a customer’s experience from their employees to their processes, to their staff.

[00:15:40] And that’s why they were able to, scale so fast, but it’s very suffocating. If you’re somebody like me, something breaks. I’m a business owner, right? We’re problem solvers. We just go, we handle it, we get it done, we get a repair person in and we keep going. In an environment like Starbucks, it’s no, you have to put in a request and yeah, you are only allowed to work with certain vendors and they, again, I get whether you have to control it, but at the same time it’s very suffocating for somebody like me that is just not made for that environ.

[00:16:14] Ruhina: Oh, I completely understand. I think when you start, I’m trying to think of the word, it’s not coming to me right now, but when you start, putting things in a line and everything’s all the same, you almost lose a piece. Yeah. Like humanity in that. And also the efficiency, like you said, because there’s so many like approvals and whatnot that you need to get anything done.

[00:16:33] So yeah, it’s definitely a slow paced thing and you’re constantly waiting on someone else, which is no fun. [00:16:40]

[00:16:40] Audra: No. No. Okay. so we got where you’re coming from, where are you going?

[00:16:46] Ruhina: that’s a funny question. I think in my journey, I’m so focused now on being present, but of course I think about where I’m going.

[00:16:54] Yes. I have like goals, but I really try hard to stay in the moment. but where I’d like to be eventually, The hope is to be running a successful coaching business and potentially like now that I’ve had the freedom to get out of the box, I’m like, oh. I could be inspired to do something else tomorrow, and that’s okay too.

[00:17:14] Like I have to give myself that. I wouldn’t even call it Grace, but that permission to like, it’s okay to change your mind because, and I think it’s more likely that for this to happen as a small business owner, Things can evolve because you’re constantly learning and growing and your mission, as a person, you are changing.

[00:17:30] So your mission might be changing or like the vision of what you’re trying to put out in the world might be changing. So I’m more trying to work and flow with that now and Hey, this is good, and if something you know, hits me and inspires me tomorrow, I can add it, I can pivot. I’m open to all of it.

[00:17:45] So the goal at the moment is to be a successful business owner to always love what I’m doing. Okay. I keep putting it out there and I think, my hope is with that, for people to keep coming to me. But yeah, the short term goal is to continue coaching and just really help people and change lives for the better and, help people live, more confidently, more sure of who they are.

[00:18:06] Joyfully, I want people to, not to say that, to have the same experience that I did, but to understand that there’s other things out there, if you want them to be for.

[00:18:16] Audra: So what area is your expertise for

[00:18:18] Ruhina: coaching? Yeah, so I’m, [00:18:20] what I call, is an authenticity coach. So I’m really going into people, to help them find like clarity in what their goals are.

[00:18:29] Like what do you want out of life? Cause a lot of people don’t know, like they’re so caught up in, in the hamster wheel. They don’t even know. But they don’t feel good about life. They’re like, I want like this and I got it and it’s fine, but is that really what you want? And some people might know, but they’re like, no, it’s not possible.

[00:18:46] So I want to help you gain the confidence to be able to achieve those things. And that doesn’t mean you have to do what I did, quit my job. yeah, of course. But like you can start small, like you can. if maybe you have an inner artist that has never been explored. Maybe, you love to explore nature, but you never let yourself do these things.

[00:19:02] Or maybe you’re having trouble in relationships because you don’t know yourself, or maybe you’re having trouble in your career because again, you don’t know yourself well enough. So the way I look at. People is very holistically. So to me, like everything is connected, like your relationship will impact your career, it will impact your self worth, it will impact, your relationships with your other families or members or friends, not just like your romantic relationships.

[00:19:25] So I really wanna get to the core of that and help people gain the confidence to be their best selves and live as joyfully and, easily, if that’s a word, as.

[00:19:36] Audra: It should be a word If it’s not, there’s there’s a lot of lessons that I think without getting on that path of discovery.

[00:19:45] So many people miss out and then they look back at 50 and say, oh, I should have done this, or I should have taken a chance here. I should have taken a chance there. when I was in my. These kind of conversations weren’t happening. Yeah, not yet. [00:20:00] and it’s fulfilling for me to see all of this finally coming out and people talking about it and it being acceptable.

[00:20:08] cuz it was not, I was a little bit of a radical, meaning I got into this stuff early. I was listening to Tony Robbins when I. 23, 24, somewhere in there. I stumbled across some of his stuff and I think I still have his original books, but I was like, wow, what a radical way of thinking.

[00:20:27] This is so cool. And it was just such a different time to get us to that place. These feelings we’re having are not new, I guarantee you go back a hundred years. They felt this unsettled. way of life. they just didn’t have it available. and it had to evolve to this. so we’re pretty fortunate to, be here right now and this time No, absolutely.

[00:20:50] Especially with all the things evolving.

[00:20:53] Ruhina: No, for sure. And I would say it’s like huge that you were able to do that in a time where other people weren’t. I would, I’m sure I was also able to do it because I was inspired by others. Yeah. But being one of the first to do it, like that’s 10. Cause you don’t even know like

[00:21:07] Audra: what you’re doing.

[00:21:07] I have no idea. Lots of books. Lots and lots of books. there weren’t really seminars yet. There were books on tape. Yeah. and then like I said, some of the psychology stuff that was coming out. you go from really weird stuff like Freud, then you get to the I’m okay, you’re okay.

[00:21:22] Stuff. I think that came out in the seventies maybe. And then in the eighties, like I said, we start to see the Brian Tracys and the Jim Rohns and Tony Robbins and all that starting to evolve a little bit. it was still in. Men, it was more okay for men to do it, believe it or not, than women. It was [00:21:40] weird for women.

[00:21:40] So it wasn’t that I did it under the radar, I just did my own path. Yeah. So people would just say, oh, she’s or not even that. I would see other women. I’m just like, I’m not quite like that. And I was okay being in my own lane, Yeah. Even if I was a party of one, it was worth it for me to stay congruent with who I am, even if it didn’t fit in with everybody else, cuz everybody else was climbing the corporate ladder.

[00:22:05] Yeah. And I think I remember I was probably oh gosh, maybe 24, 25, and I was working in an office at a seven 30 to three 30 type job, Monday through Friday kind of stuff, doing the same thing every day. Yeah. And I said, if I have to do this much longer, I literally felt like I would walk in and put my chain around the desk and sit down almost like an elephant.

[00:22:30] You know that’s tied to a pole that never leaves. Yeah. I felt like that. And I’m like, I am slowly dying. I’m only in my twenties here. Why am I doing this? Yeah. I’ve gotta figure out a different path. Yeah, no, I just send you on. That trajectory for something else.

[00:22:46] Ruhina: Oh, absolutely. It’s so interesting to me that you said that it was okay for men to do that.

[00:22:51] I was just like wondering that talking and I’m, I feel like it’s because unfortunately, fortunately we’re living in what is still a man’s world, so like the men are usually paving the path and the women are trying to fit in. But I think we’re seeing things differently now. Like the women are like, oh, for sure we can save our paths too.

[00:23:09] And whether that looks different or not, because. Men and women are different, and maybe the inherent structure of the way we function is a little bit different. What we’re comfortable with is different, but I feel like with women being more [00:23:20] comfortable choosing to pay their own paths, different opportunities are coming into light.

[00:23:24] Like we’re kind, we’re trying to work differently. These things are, and like the way you started, your own journey, I’m sure. yeah. What’s comfortable for you is different for the typical man, I’m assuming.

[00:23:35] Audra: Yeah, probably. Probably. So you’ve left your corporate job. I have left it. Yes. Okay. And so you’re just coaching full-time?

[00:23:43] I’m coaching full-time, yeah. Okay. as your main job, how do you go about finding clients these days?

[00:23:50] Ruhina: a few different ways. So

[00:23:52] Audra: I actually

[00:23:53] Ruhina: partner with different companies, like whether that’s, larger companies like the Googles of the world or the Amazon. Oh, nice. Cause even they have, in their corporate structure, they have like HR services and the people are like, Going through things like we’re stressed out, like we don’t feel like we belong here.

[00:24:10] There’s imposter syndrome, there’s all these things happening in these big work settings and people really want someone to come help them through that. So partnering with companies like that. I also partner with like smaller studios, like yoga studios that, I know the mission aligns with like really putting like the mind, body, soul connection.

[00:24:27] but so that’s the focus, the primary focus, and that’s really what I want people to focus on as well. I bring the mind piece, hopefully, and like the connection to the soul from a different lens, not the physical lens, of course. and so yeah, I partner with all these studios. there’s social media, of course,

[00:24:40] clients come in through different ways. sometimes just That’s awesome. Yeah,I’ve sometimes just tried to help a person out. Like I, I’ve offered, when I started out, I was offering free sessions and, I saw how much need there was with that. So even through that word of mouth, yeah.

[00:24:54] People come through different ways and, Like

[00:24:56] Audra: yours. Exactly. so with the folks [00:25:00] that you’re helping, do you see common patterns that, these guys are getting stuck in? maybe it’s not necessarily a job. Is it always a job? Is it mindset? Is it, where’s that turnout

[00:25:11] Ruhina: for you?

[00:25:11] No, it’s not always a job. oftentimes, very oftentimes it is, but a lot of times it’s also relationships or like relationships with, I wouldn’t even say partners, because it’s interesting,a few of the people that have come to me have been South Asian, which I assume for obvious reasons, like people can relate to a South Asian, so maybe they’re more comfortable, on that front.

[00:25:28] It’s been a lot of. Self worth, just not knowing who they are, and it oftentimes ties back into their relationship with their immediate family, maybe parents or whoever’s raised them. I’ve seen some of that, but it all, most of it really stems from like pressure. It’s whether that means pressure from society and like the need to fit in there, whether it means pressure from your family, like I mentioned, whether that’s pressure from your peers, it’s the constant need to like fit in somewhere.

[00:25:57] And that’s like the current, the recurring thread that I see that I wanna help people get to the root of.

[00:26:02] Audra: interesting. I wonder how many people start a business for that reason, if that ties into it. Do you feel like you see mostly, self-employed people or employee. mostly employees.

[00:26:16] Okay. I know. Self-worth and fitting in, even though we probably wouldn’t call it that, it’s still a huge thing for business owners. we get online, we look at social media, we see what our competitors are doing or others out there, a couple steps ahead of us. We, have the whole FOMO kick in and the, yeah, I’m not enough.

[00:26:36] I’m not good enough. I shouldn’t be in business for [00:26:40] myself clearly, cuz I’m not showing up like they’re showing.

[00:26:44] Ruhina: Oh yeah. No, no matter what we do, there will always be pressure for sure. and so far I haven’t had as many, let’s say, like self-employed folks, and it’s, maybe it’s because, the story that I, have put out there about myself and also, I’m trying to hit those like root.

[00:27:00] core issues. And some of the entrepreneurs, that I know have mostly worked through those, so they’re like the next level. so I’m guessing at least that’s why I would love to work with entrepreneurs as well. But

[00:27:12] Audra: yeah. have you studied spiral dynamics? I haven’t. No. Check it out. So spiral dynamics, I’m not sure who started that.

[00:27:21] It’s been around for quite some time, but it’s like a. dna, he. Where as you evolve through different colors. And so each color represents a different stage that we’re in as human beings. it’s pretty easy to find. I would definitely check it out.

[00:27:38] I’ll leave a link in the show notes for anybody else that has interest. But what it is it explains to you as we are humans, how we evolve through this place of life. Sometimes you don’t, So I think the first is like red, and red means it’s when you’re younger, so you’re very narcissistic.

[00:27:57] You don’t know about a world outside of yours. You don’t really understand how other people interact with you and how their emotions affect your world. And it goes through each stage like, okay, now you become aware and you’re no longer narcissistic, and you start realizing the things around you and it goes through all the different colors.

[00:28:18] It’s such an amazing thing. [00:28:20] But where it came really in handy for me is when I got certified in N L P. as I learned about spiral dynamics, I could tell what stage somebody was at by the language they were using. Interesting. So spiral dynamics will help you wrap your head around. Okay. So if my ex-husband was in red and I, at the time, I was in orange.

[00:28:42] And I couldn’t figure out why we weren’t communicating. I’m like, why don’t you understand this? This just seemed simple. And for him, because he was looking through it at a different lens than I was, it was never gonna make sense cuz we weren’t, he could have been speaking French and I was speaking Chinese and we did not hear.

[00:28:59] That’s so interesting.

[00:29:00] Ruhina: Yeah. I love the, I don’t wanna say labels, but I love that there’s like words, no, simplicity. Yeah, simplicity. Yeah. because I think as we, in this world, as entrepreneurs and as a coach, I’m constantly assessing where people are at, how they think.

[00:29:14] So I’m doing that, but I’m not necessarily categorizing them. Where they are, I just am assessing and okay, this is where this person is at, and I’ll give them maybe words just here’s, they’re not gonna hear me. They’re ready to listen to this. Or not like that. But that’s fascinating.

[00:29:26] I’ll definitely look into it. I love that.

[00:29:28] Audra: Yeah. But it’s helpful. So if you’re in a sales position, especially it’s a small business owner, we wanna go up and just throw up all of our information. Here’s my product services, here’s the benefits, features. here, buy my stuff. But without really understanding who the other person is that you’re trying to sell to,we.

[00:29:48] Constantly tote this. Know your avatar, know your ideal customer. take it a step further. Go back to the psychology side of that. What kind of body language are they using? What are their words? How do they [00:30:00] learn? Are they kinesthetic or auditory? Do they, tie all that in? What’s their body language saying?

[00:30:05] Are they comfortable? Are they not comfortable? Are they frowning at you? Once you understand that more, Then you’re able to meet them where they’re at instead of trying to force them into your stuff. Yeah. In your world. So it, learning that stuff in my thirties was so helpful because I can,when you’re having a conversation with somebody and they start to check out, you’ve, yeah.

[00:30:27] You, you know why, and correct.

[00:30:29] Ruhina: Yeah. there’s a reason for it. It’s not just like they’re border or they’re not listening to you personally. It’s not at that level. Maybe like they’re not at the yellow or whatever that

[00:30:37] Audra: means. I don’t know. Yeah. That you’re just not speaking to them in a way I am, so I’m not an auditory learner.

[00:30:43] I’m a kinesthetic learner. So I wanna touch it, show it to me, and then let me touch it. Yeah. I wanna touch it. I wanna build it. Fine like that. But early on I didn’t understand that. I was like, gosh, why can’t I just hear the teacher and do what he says? Yeah. Because that’s not the way I learn. So the more options you can give your customers, To deliver a product, the more successful you’re gonna be.

[00:31:05] Because we learn in so many different ways. Some people want the long story and the journey and the ups and downs and the emotions, and others just want the fact, just gimme the bottom line. What is it gonna do? And it’s our responsibility as a service provider to pay attention to that.

[00:31:23] Ruhina: Oh, completely.

[00:31:24] And I think that’s what is also really gratifying about. Like one-on-one work like coaching. Or any, a lot of other jobs that people have. also, but like you can spend time with one person and really get to know who they are because the corporate system again, is very much, and not just the corporate [00:31:40] system.

[00:31:40] Schools, schools are designed for us to this is the end product. Let’s all get here. But we haven’t given thought to like how people learn differently and do things differently and function differently. We’re all just so focused on. Hitting those, let’s grades or, s a t scores, all that.

[00:31:56] Audra: yeah. So if I’m a business owner and I’m just getting going and I’m in that place where I’m just focused on the goals, yes. What would be your advice

[00:32:06] Ruhina: to me? My advice would be, it depends on a few things. It depends on your personality type. Or do you think, do you have like yourself to start this?

[00:32:14] If you don’t, I would actually recommend getting a business coach. That’s what I did. figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. That’s very important. Before you do anything, okay. And you accomplish, yes, you have this goal and vision for yourself, but do you have the skillset already built in or, to accomplish this on your own?

[00:32:31] If not, hire someone because we can’t know everything. And we just need a little bit of support. so hire someone competent. I know there’s also a lot of business coaches out there, so I just have to vet the right people. that’s the first thing I would say to do. And then, The second thing is be consistent because you’re gonna be doing a lot of things for free at first.

[00:32:50] You’re gonna be putting things out and you’re gonna be like, no, it’s not working. I still have those days and I’m like, what do I do next? And I’m like, just try something new. a part of the process is being creative, so enjoy that. Enjoy that, like that. Maybe it’s newfound for you.

[00:33:07] Maybe it’s not. Enjoy the creativity and like what comes with it. Maybe it doesn’t work. Maybe you’re trying a new idea today, you’re putting something out on social media, you’re putting out an email, you’re telling a story differently the way you might before. enjoy [00:33:20] that process, because the more you do, you’re have to keep doing this.

[00:33:23] It’s not gonna stop tomorrow. This is a forever thing if you choose to be an entrepreneur. And the other thing, which is probably the hardest thing to do, is to have some patience and some faith.

[00:33:35] Audra: Yeah, I would definitely say patience of faith. So what do you do when you have down days and you’re like, do I wanna go back and get a job?

[00:33:43] do you teeter with that?

[00:33:45] Ruhina: Yeah, of course. and I think about it from the perspective of yes, maybe one day I will have to get a job again, but it doesn’t have to be full-time. It doesn’t have to be my primary thing. Okay. but primary focus is my mission for what the work I wanna put out there.

[00:34:01] So with entrepreneurship, the thing is that there’s not as much consistency, of course. So like some. You’re doing better.

[00:34:08] Audra: It’s

[00:34:08] Ruhina: nothing. And so that’s the problem, that we’re all trying to get out of. But yeah, and so there’s days where I’m like, maybe I should get a part-time job, but it doesn’t have to be like a corporate part-time job.

[00:34:17] I don’t have to do that. I’ve been tutoring, kids, what do I love to do? So I tap into that some more. I’m always looking into what’s fun? Like maybe I could go to a flower shop tomorrow and work there for a little while and it. A big part of the journey for me has also really been, I mentioned creativity.

[00:34:33] It’s been accessing that part of myself. Okay. cause I felt like it was shut down almost for so many years. And everyone is creative in different ways. That’s another big thing. Like I am not necessarily your typical like artists. I don’t go around painting or sketching all of that.

[00:34:50] I love being creative through my voice and through storytelling and it took me some time to learn that about myself. I didn’t really understand that because all I saw was like, creativity comes [00:35:00] through like X, Y, Z. And so things like that or even working with children gives me so much joy.

[00:35:06] So I, that’s why I tried to tutor and there’s creative aspects to all of these things. It’s not about, again, only creating like on a paint board. so yeah, I think I answered your question. That was all very long-winded. No, I think, no,

[00:35:17] Audra: no, I think that’s good because that’s a perspective that we’ve, that I’ve not explored on this podcast.

[00:35:24] We’re. Or mainstream says you have a job, you work at the job while you’re working your side hustle. As soon as your side hustle’s got enough, then you leave the job and you’re all in over here, burn all the bridges. But you just presented a little different perspective. It’s, I did the job.

[00:35:43] I’ll find ways to support myself. I stay true to this, but I don’t have to kill myself or burn myself out trying to make that happen. I allow this to evolve as it’s going to evolve, and if I have to pick up something on the side there, just keep the lights on, then that’s okay too. Yeah. it’s being okay with accepting a position like that.

[00:36:03] Yeah. And. it’s not so black and white and that gray perspective is a good place for anybody that may be struggling with the two extremes. Yeah, absolutely. Because it doesn’t have to be

[00:36:17] Ruhina: No, not at all. And that’s what we’re taught. So it’s really hard to come out of that mindset to know there is a middle ground even there.

[00:36:23] There is, yeah. There are options. You just have to be willing to see them because it, it’s seemed like a demotion. Like why would you go. you have a degree, a master’s degree in this thing, use that, make money from that. And yeah, that’s the obvious answer. And I, maybe [00:36:40] I’ll choose to do that at some point too, if I’m really feeling like I’m like, at some point, if my funds are running low, something like that.

[00:36:46] maybe I’ll do that. But it’s about just being like, what is the right option for me in this moment? Of course, financially, I’m not telling anyone to disregard that cuz it is extremely important like to keep your finances secure, but also your just inner self. what can we do to support both of those things and

[00:37:03] Audra: balance.

[00:37:05] Yeah, that is great cuz that’s a great perspective. So anybody that’s on the fence that feels like I’m forced on one side of the track or the other,. Ruhina just gave you a good option to, and I think maybe some people don’t choose that because there’s uncertainty there. So if certainty is one of my, values up there at the top, I may think I only have this or I have this because I have to have something that anchors me.

[00:37:33] But the gray is a great option, but you will deal with a little bit of uncertainty as to how you’re wading through that. maybe that gray is like you’re going down the river. And you’re floating. So as long as you stay within the banks, you’re probably fine. Yeah. But it allows you a little bit more flexibility to go through things.

[00:37:57] it’s stressful making that pivot. It really is. The thing I’ve

[00:38:01] Ruhina: learned is that there’s gonna be stress no matter what. So just about what are you willing to nurture in this moment? Are you like, there will always be uncertainty. That’s another thing. There will always be change. There will always be uncertainty.

[00:38:14] There will always be stress. Yeah. How do you wanna deal with those things? Do you want to befriend them [00:38:20] and do you wanna say, all right, I can accept it in this moment. And say, let’s ride the waves together. Or I can fight it and be like, I don’t wanna be uncertain forever. I gotta know.

[00:38:31] And, and that’s okay too if that’s where you’re at. Yeah. It’s a different kind of struggle. And then maybe the corporate life is better if that’s you. For a person that’s set up that way. And I, I get it because I also came from that, that was what I was fighting before I quit.

[00:38:46] I was like, I need certainty. I need structure, but we also need those things because that’s what we’re taught to need. We’re not taught about the way, we can live differently. Yeah. So it’s a, it’s not an easy choice, but if you’re willing, to shift your perspective on things, it’s a possible choice.

[00:39:03] Audra: I often say this new, marketplace that I’ve built hasn’t really generated any revenue. my income comes from my agency side. Which has since, forever. But, people are like, why are you working so hard on this project? Because it’s just launching. So there. There’s no money yet.

[00:39:22] Of course not, but it’s been a couple years of in the works of building it and, trying to decide what everything was gonna look like, and it’s massive. It’s the largest project I’ve ever done, but, My stress from that is, is almost like a positive stress. And I know there’s you stress, there’s positive stress.

[00:39:41] There’s negative stress. It’s not negative. oh my goodness, it’s not making any money and I’m doing all this work. It’s more stress of I just wanna get it all done because I’m excited about what it’s is. Is it stressful? It is. Is it pushing me to limits my own skillset? Absolutely. Am [00:40:00] I having to grow as a human to that next stage to be able to pull something this big off?

[00:40:06] Absolutely. But I wouldn’t trade it. Yeah. Even though it’s not made a dime yet, I still wouldn’t trade it. Yeah, because you’re

[00:40:14] Ruhina: listening to your, like your right deepest self and your truest. And you’re like, spirit is almost alive in that process. So of course there’s trade-offs, but like it’s a great trade-off at this point, at least for you.

[00:40:27] Audra: Yeah, I’m very congruent with it. So dark days, my decisions are not, oh, should I quit? Should I keep going? That’s never the two sides of the coin I’m looking at. they’re normally like, Okay. I’m stressed, but I’m tired or I’m stressed, but I gotta find other ways to get certain things done.

[00:40:47] It’s never, is this a good decision or bad decision, or do I wanna leave it or not? Yes. once you are congruent with what you’re supposed to be doing, that one comes off the table. It’s I know what I’m doing. It’s, yeah, you’re, I’m still gonna have stress, but doesn’t change my path at all.

[00:41:03] Ruhina: Absolutely, and that’s actually really what I kinda do with my work too, is I want people, when I say I want people to be their most authentic selves, in your words, I want them to be their most congruent or aligned selves. Yeah. That you’re just living like when, even if, when you’re working constantly, you’re living that moment with joy and happiness.

[00:41:20] You’re just, maybe not exhilarated, but maybe you’re. Yeah. And that’s better depressed.

[00:41:26] Audra: Absolutely. Better than working at a job that you’re miserable and feel like you’re chained to. Yes, for sure. So what would be some advice that you would share with somebody that is in this place where they know that they’re not settled.

[00:41:39] Yes. Yes. But they [00:41:40] don’t know where to start to find the answers. What would you suggest?

[00:41:44] Ruhina: I think it depends on what it is that, you’re struggling with. So let’s, I can use a couple examples. So the bigger ones that come up, of course, are career. If you’re not satisfied, try different things like while you have the safety or your job, not even to say that everyone’s gonna quit their jobs and, start their own things, but.

[00:42:04] Explore different things. What lights you up? Where can you be creative in your life? What gives you joy? and don’t think about, it doesn’t have to simply be like a hobby. Like it doesn’t have to be, I’m making pottery. maybe pottery does light you up and that’s beautiful and amazing, but maybe you just love to talk and that lights you up.

[00:42:23] Do you wanna do something with that? Maybe you love to listen. What can you start doing? Like really pay attention to like where you’re getting your happiness from and start following that and see if you can add that into your life in little ways. okay. And for those that are maybe struggling with, Relationships.

[00:42:42] I do recommend actually people seek out mental health guidance. Whether it’s a therapist or coach, hope, like there’s more options out there. for them struggling financially. I think free therapy is not always available, but it’s becoming more available. So try to. Bring in more self-awareness.

[00:42:59] I think that’s really key in any aspect of your life. One, try to, and most people need therapy to, to help with that. unless you’re self, introspective person. so try to understand yourself, try to understand your dynamic with different people. Try to understand the why of why you’re doing certain things the way you’re doing.

[00:43:17] It’s really all about that. Why once you [00:43:20] hit the why, It’s when the big realizations start like happening and you can start to make changes in your life.

[00:43:26] Audra: I did find, when I got divorced, I actually went and saw a psychologist for a little while To help me navigate the waters.

[00:43:32] I was only 26. I had three kids under the age of five, and I was like, oh Lord, what am I doing? And I needed, a neutral third party to come in and say, okay, Audra, this is what adulthood looks like, and these are your options. And I have to tell you one of the best. things I’ve ever done for myself because she really just laid it out like I’m a very matter of fact.

[00:43:55] I’m optimist, but I’m also a realist, and I just need, just tell me what it is. I’m, I can do the work. I just need a direction course. And she started turning me onto books about different kinds of things, and this is how you deal with this and this is how you deal with that. And the more I got, oh my gosh.

[00:44:11] I was like, oh my, all the lights started coming on in this dark room that I felt I was living in. And that. In itself, nourishes you so much. It’s oh, okay. I understand why I feel this way, or I don’t have to feel this way. There are options. Yeah, exactly. But if you don’t, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

[00:44:30] No, nobody ever showed me that side until I started opening up and I was like, Holy crap. There’s a whole other world out here I don’t know anything about. Yeah. How exciting is that?

[00:44:41] Ruhina: Yeah. And that can be huge to, to realize that because we, yeah, we live in our own minds. We don’t know what we don’t know.

[00:44:47] We just, assume the world runs the way we think that it runs until we are able to step outside of that boundary. And most of us can’t learn that until we’re either pushed there or someone comes book accidentally or we talk [00:45:00] to someone that helps us to that place. So it’s about stepping outside of ourselves, By using maybe the tools that, that we can to do

[00:45:06] Audra: that. Yeah. Do you have any books that you recommend for people?

[00:45:10] Ruhina: I’m trying to think. and to be quite honest, books were not a big part of my journey. I learned through a lot of deep reflection and like just self and respecting, like, why am I doing this?

[00:45:20] Or just my journey is what really taught me a lot of things or like my guide or, my, my mentors and people that would guide me. So I’m trying to think of what’s coming up book wise. Nothing off the top of my head, but if something does help.

[00:45:37] Audra: yeah. There were a couple pivotal ones for me.

[00:45:40] the one Tony Robbins one when I was pretty young. another good one was some Eckert to work. Yeah. the new Earth Power of now very good. The new Earth was huge for me. It actually got me to a place where I felt like I could step out outside of myself and see the experience from a different. And that took me some time to get there, to be able to appreciate the value of that.

[00:46:07] I’ve always been more of a listener than a talker. just cuz that’s how I learn or that’s, I’m a little bit of an empath like that where I can absorb other people’s issues. So I do have to be a little careful. But at the same time, there’s so much value in understanding those experiences.

[00:46:24] Soif people listening are a little bit more of an introvert, cuz I do run into a lot of ’em that say I don’t wanna go talk to anybody or I don’t wanna work with a business coach, but they still need some outlets. Yeah. there’s great, resources online on YouTube. Just [00:46:40] watch them until you find something that resonates with you that you can say, okay, this is something that I feel can help me spend 10 minutes a day, spend a half an hour a day.

[00:46:49] Instead of binge watching Netflix, turn on YouTube and watch something there for free. And you don’t have to talk to anybody, but you still can get some,just to know that you’re not alone in whatever space that you’re at. And that there are options. Believe me, we’re evolving through different things.

[00:47:07] and I’m older, but at the same time, W I guess what I wanna say, it’s all there. You just have to be willing and open to reach out and

[00:47:17] Ruhina: get the. Yeah, self-help book at bookstores is doing very well right now. Yeah. It’s the second,

[00:47:23] Audra: right? The, there’s a lot of good stuff out there. and look for the top names.

[00:47:27] Find the stuff that makes sense. Go on YouTube and watch the summaries. Everybody’s done a summary off of all the, the top self-help books. It’s not that they’re gonna solve anything. Necessarily for you. Like they’re not gonna walk in and make your whole life better. You still have to do the work.

[00:47:44] What they’re there to do is to show you that there’s another way and that you don’t have to stay stuck.

[00:47:49] Ruhina: Yeah, absolutely. It’s really about understanding different perspectives. Yeah. and books, whether it’s through books or people, whatever it is, that works for you. there’s options out.

[00:47:58] For sure.

[00:47:59] Audra: That’s good. So I’m an entrepreneur. I’m young, I am, know that I am incongruent with my job, but my family does not support me moving on and doing something on my own. What would you suggest to them?

[00:48:13] Ruhina: I would have them sit with themselves and ask them if [00:48:20] them supporting themselves or their family supporting themselves.

[00:48:25] Which is more important? Like rate that from a scale of one to 10, what’s more important to you and why? And really try to dive deep into that. Like why is your family support more important to you? If it is, then you supporting yourself. do you want to please them? Is usually about providing when I say Please, it’s, we wanna we want their support.

[00:48:49] because we want their validation. We want, their love. We almost the, love is what we’re really looking for. That’s the center of almost everything. And we want them to appreciate us and think that we’re worth it and we’re valuable. So why are you basing your value off of what someone else thinks versus maybe what you know you’re already capable of, even if it’s your parents.

[00:49:11] Even if it’s your parents. our parents are parents, but they’re people and people are fallible. So why do your parents, maybe why? Why do they think they know what’s best for you? Maybe you know what’s best for you and what’s best for you can change. maybe they’re right. Maybe you try some crazy thing and they were right and you were wrong, but at least you tried.

[00:49:34] And that’s what’s I.

[00:49:36] Audra: Okay, good. All right, so as we come to an end here, what would be your advice for somebody that, maybe they’re not struggling, but they’re in indecision, so they know what they want to do, but they’re afraid to take that plunge. How would you tell them to go about tipping their toe in?

[00:49:59] Ruhina: again, it really [00:50:00] depends on so many different factors. I would say if you’re really ready and you have the financial means and you just, you’re scared or you’re not sure how to do it, get someone to help you with that. Even before I quit my job, I got a therapist just I know I need to quit.

[00:50:16] I just don’t know. When it’s gonna, I know it’s gonna happen soon. I’m just really scared. I’m like so terrified to do this. or if not a therapist, get some friends like you, you need support. We cannot do these things alone. We are, people are communal. We like siding, need those around us. So get some support and let’s say it’s a job again, if that’s the scary thing you’re trying to do.

[00:50:37] Yeah. Make sure you’re financially set up a plan for yourself, like in six. If I have no money coming in, this is what it looks like in one year. This is what it looks like so that you are at least your brain is able to arrive around, What that might look like for you, and then come up with backup plans.

[00:50:53] but I think getting the support really is really key as well.

[00:50:56] Audra: Okay, good. All right, thank you so much. This has been awesome. I really appreciate it. Really valuable things here. So if you are stuck in the middle, if you are on the fence with anything that you’re trying to do through your job, through your business, through really your life, slow down for a second.

[00:51:15] Be present, journal,reach out, get some help, talk to other people. That can give you just another perspective. Remember their perspective doesn’t mean it’s right. It’s just another perspective for you to consider. So with that said, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate

[00:51:33] Ruhina: it. Oh, no, thank you.

[00:51:34] I enjoyed so much. This is such a wonderful conversation. Awesome. Thanks. [00:51:40]

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