Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
Ishita Gupta: Falling Apart Can Be Falling Into Something Bigger (Episode 158)

Ishita Gupta: Falling Apart Can Be Falling Into Something Bigger (Episode 158)

Ishita Gupta is a leadership and business strategist who was the head of media of the Domino Project for two years, and is a sought-after speaker. She joins Charlie today to talk about rebuilding her life and business. After a confluence of major life transitions, Ishita went home to refortify herself with her parents, only to realize her parents were in a health and business crisis that she needed to attend to.

Key Takeaways:

[4:20] - Ishita shares some of what she’s been challenged by in the last two years. She has been working as a business coach and publishing her online magazine for a while, but in 2015 she became very burnt out with her work - she was working a lot and feeling stressed and very tired. In addition to work stress, she was in an unhealthy relationship as well.

[7:30] - This point became a big wake up call for Ishita to get away and slow down a bit. She moved back to Detroit with her parents, and realized her mom was having major health issues, which began to affect her mother’s business as well. At this point, she had to give up her own healing to focus on caring for and helping her parents.

[11:55] - The last two years have given Ishita some of the biggest lessons of her life, and taught her to challenge some of the things she previously believed. These lessons include surrender, acceptance but not approval, and being okay with uncertainty.

[12:53] - For the first full year, Ishita felt embarrassed by talking about her situation. This translated to the communication in her business and online presence; however, she did have her core support group to talk with, and she learned that everyone just needs someone to listen sometimes.

[16:04] - In 2016, she had to stop her business for a period of time so she could take care of herself. Being real with her clients, and their understanding, was an important part of her healing process.

[17:45] - Charlie shares his experience with a period of grief, and not really being able to share too much with other people. It could be helpful to just let other people know that something is going on, even if you don’t want to go into the details.

[18:57] - Business stacks on life, not the other way around, and sometimes the business of life is the business. If you need someone to talk to, be careful of the people who are well-meaning fixers, when you may just need a well-meaning listener.

[21:27] - One of the big lessons from Ishita’s story is that even when there were times she couldn’t perform, she still survived. If you’re at a point where your business pays the bills but you’re unable to make ends meet, let yourself off the hook for a period of time. It doesn’t always feel good, but you’ll be able to make it through.

[24:21] - For the compartmentalizers, while it’s good that you can put stuff away to get through work or family issues, be aware that those things are stil there. But it is okay to give yourself permission to be going through a hard time.

[27:00] - One of the challenges of entrepreneurship is when it becomes a self-aspirational label. This becomes a situation when your business is not working, and you can’t make a change as an entrepreneur. You’re not a failure if you have to get a 9-5 job for a period of time. Charlie shares four key points for people in a rut: know where you are, where you’re going, have a road map between those two places, and know what to do when your plans doesn’t match reality. Part of the challenge is accepting where you are right now, and being adaptable to change. Ishita shares some of her struggle with this, and how she was able to turn the situation around into one where she had the freedom to be herself. Moving forward, she will have all the lessons she’s learned in the last two years to add to her plan.

[31:06] - Many people feel the most trapped in the areas where they have stuck their energies or minds. You have to give yourself permission to let go and focus on what other stuff needs to be done.

[33:50] - Life can be good and hard at the same time. You have to learn how to hold on to the great moments in the middle of grief. Finding the people you can talk to about it, and being okay with what is, are the first steps in being okay with the shifts it could cause in your life.

[36:15] - Ishita talks about struggling with finding a balance between oversharing to the point of too much information, and under-sharing where you don’t allow yourself to connect with your readers or listeners. For her personally, if she doesn’t share in some capacity, she won’t be able to show up for her clients in an authentic way. As you work through this for yourself, you’ll find what level of sharing is comfortable for you. For Charlie, the important thing is knowing how sharing can prevent you from or enable you to move forward.

[40:07] - In your business or personal brand, what attracts people to you is your Achilles’ heel. If you cover up too much of your vulnerability, people might find it difficult to relate to you. The ownership of these vulnerabilities is important in sharing it with others and also claiming and taming it for yourself.

[45:20] - Sometimes, it can be very helpful to escape from the reality of your hard situation and if you can, give that time to someone else. For Ishita, if she can still help someone and deliver results, she finds that it really helps her. The idea that you have to be in your perfect state to do your best work is a point worth challenging, and will be different for everyone.

[48:11] - For people who may have more trouble compartmentalizing, it can help to identify the bad stuff, but then also look for the good stuff that fuels you and that you can use to anchor you throughout the day. Balancing the less favorable stuff with the nourishing parts of your life can help you navigate through the hard times. Breaking things down can help you focus on the things that are going to help you grow, and identify those that perhaps are not worth investing in anymore.

[54:45] - Sometimes, it’s about making the situation suck 1% less rather than making it 1% better. Making progress on the good things as well as making progress on the bad things can provide us with additional motivation to keep moving forward.

[58:10] - When you surrender in some way, that’s where solutions can start to come from.

[59:00] - Ishita’s invitation for listeners: Recognize that your best work does not always have to come from perfect times. Some of Ishita’s best work has come from her messier moments. Make your mess your message - take ownership of your life, your lessons, and the way you want to share them with the world.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Productive Flourishing

Ishita Gupta

The Domino Project

The Progress Principle, by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer

Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing (formerly the Creative Giant Show) explores how to do the work that matters to become your best self in the world. Host Charlie Gilkey and occasional co-host Angela Wheeler take listeners on a deep dive into the lives of leaders, changemakers, creatives, and entrepreneurs who are thriving in life and business by doing work that matters. Listen in to see how they cultivate meaning, success, and happiness as well as their approach to productivity, business, health, and the challenges (yes, even the deep, dark ones) that show up in their lives.