Turning Parent Loss into Purpose with Life Coach Neal Bakshi
Your Biggest Vision
Season 3, Ep. 60
I lost my dad 4 years ago today.
That day changed the trajectory of my life. I was hit with the reality of truly how short life is. Even though I felt paralyzed for months, it was the catalyst to quit my 9-5, to play bigger in life, and ultimately why I’m here now.
In this episode, I talk with one of my friends and past clients, Neal Bakshi, who went through something similar with his mom.
We want to bring you the real, honest truth about what the grieving & healing process has been like for us, as well as the impact this has had in our lives & business.
In case any of you are going through this too, we want you to know you’re not alone and are sending you love through this episode.
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Neal Bakshi Instagram: @Neal.Bakshi
Leah Gervais: Hey visionaries. Welcome back to the Your biggest vision show. I am your host, Leah Gervais. And today we have a dear friend, former client and, uh, life coach Neal here with us to be on this very personal and intimate episode. So thank you, Neal. Hi, thanks for being here.
Neal Bakshi: Hey, Leah morning. Thank you for how having me on this episode. Very, uh, looking forward to, to talking about what we’re gonna talk about today. I think both of us have gone through some pretty, uh, pretty life changing experiences in our lives, and hopefully we can shine a little more light on it to bring a little bit more light to people who might be going through sort of similar circumstances.
Leah Gervais: I agree. I agree. So let’s dive right in. We’re really lucky to have Neal with this. Um, if you are a follower of mine, then, you know, probably that I lost my dad a few years ago. And at the time of this recording at the time, this episode airs, it will be the four year mark since he passed. Um, I’ve talked a lot about it. And this year I wanted to specifically focus on turning the, the piece around turning loss into purpose. Um, and I invited Neal to do this with me because he’s one of the people I’ve seen it do. I’ve seen do this the most. He suddenly lost his, his own mom a few years ago, which he’ll share more about. Um, but we wanted to do this not necessarily to dwell on the loss of our parents though. I do think it’s important to share that because that is something that is very universal.
We also wanted to do this in case it can be applied to any challenge that you’re going through. And as someone who works with entrepreneurs for my job, and I’ve seen hundreds of people build businesses, um, though it doesn’t have to be on the scale of loss or grief or death or something that ability to turn something challenging in your life to turn something that’s an obstacle to turn, turn something that can even feel dis disadvantageous into not even something that’s neutral, but actually advantageous. And part of your story and really embracing it is, is a real gift and really can fuel you.
So we wanted to share how we did that. It is going to be in the context of us losing our parents, but we also hope that you can apply this to any obstacle, no matter how big or small you, you, you know, you have in your path because we all do have them and they do not have to define you in a negative way.
So with that, uh, Neal and I will just briefly start by sharing what happened to us and what happened to our parents. So I’ll start no promises that I won’t choke up. It’s always hard to talk about. And it’s crazy because I think I would’ve thought after four years it would get easier. And I think my day to day life does get easier, but when I really sit with it, it’s, it’s still really hurts. That’s just the honest truth. So four years ago on March 3rd and 2018, uh, I was going about my, my life. I was just a normal 25 year old or so I thought, and I was out to dinner with my now in-laws and my now husband, we were just dating at the time. And we were out in the meat packing district in New York, having dinner. And I get a call.
I don’t usually answer unknown calls, but they left this voicemail. So I called back and it was the ski patrol from a ski in Colorado letting me know that my dad had died. My dad had died skiing and I grew up in Colorado. Skiing was my dad’s number one favorite thing in the world. I swear he couldn’t have gone in a more, um, aligned way, but that’s not what you think about when you get a call like that.
All you think about when you get a call, like you can’t think you can’t, you cannot think. And I just remember standing up in the, in the near the bathrooms of catch, that was the restaurant in, in the meat packing district. I was out, which I’ll, I’ll never go to again. And it was almost as if my legs locked and I just teetered over to the side.
I mean, it was like someone told me that my world had ended because that’s what it felt like. And my Adam, my up, my now husband went and got his parents and I was near, if you guys know, catch there’s, the bathrooms are kind of near the kitchen. And I was like on the floor there and the staff were being really nice and trying to help me, they could tell something was obviously very wrong, but they’re like, we need you to get out of the kitchen, cuz it was like on a Saturday night and it was really busy. So they helped me move into this stairwell. And I just remember sitting there in this stairwell wailing to like the heavens and just yelling, like my dad died, my dad died. It was, I couldn’t even breathe. It was so awful. And so then my now in-laws and my husband came back and kind of helped me down the stairs.
And we went to my sister’s apartment. Who many of you know, on the show she works with me. She’s my best friend. She and she also lives in New York. And I just remember being in the cab on the way over there. And my mother-in-law who actually has a similar story to me. She lost her own dad at around the same age. She just kept saying, you know, it’s gonna be okay. And, and you, you, you should go be there with your mom. And she was just trying to comfort me, but I was so angry at her because I just didn’t understand why she didn’t know that this was all fake. My dad was gonna call any minute now and explain that this was a misunderstanding. And there was just no way that he was just gone no way. So it gives me chills thinking about it and it so mad at her.
And I just remember like, how dare you try to comfort me around this because this is not happening. And I don’t appreciate you pretending like it’s happening long story short. We booked tickets that night to fly back to Colorado where my mom is and where I’m from the next morning. And I don’t think I slept at all that night. I mean, uh, how could you, you know, I just kept tossing and turning and waiting for my dad to call and waiting for my dad to call. And oh, I just was so sure that this was not real. And then I remember getting to Colorado and same thing. The priest came over to our house and brought me this book “Life After Loss”. And, and I hated him. I just thought, how could you bring me this book? Because why don’t you understand that this is not really what happened?
And it took me a good six months to like the guy. And I realized that it was because I had so much anger for him for just trying to help me, but that that’s, that’s how my, my emotions were. And anyway, I could go in every which way about, you know, the, the days that follow and, and, and the mugs that followed, but the bullet points are, he passed, it was an utter shock. It was not anything that I was anywhere prepared to hear. And it took me a long time to really believe it. I mean, even those nights staying with my mom just was waiting for him to walk into the door. It was so unbelievable and I was in a pretty good amount of grief and shock for, for months or months after which, which we’ll get more into, but that’s what happened.
And, you know, as I’m sure many people can relate to, my dad was my hero. My parents, I was, I’ve always been very close with them. I was a little bit rebellious for a year or two in high school who wasn’t, but for the most part, I’ve always had such a good relationship with him. And it felt like losing part of my body, you know, something that I just could not feel like I could live without or survive without. And it was just such a major loss and it still is, as I share this and before I let Neal share his, his story and wrap mine up, I just also wanna share that for those listening. And, you know, I just had a baby and my baby’s name is Paul, named after my dad. So he is living on in his spirit, but the loss was spectacular. That’s what happened.
Neal Bakshi: Yeah. And, and Leah, thank you so much for, for being so open and, and, and just completely honest in, in the story, because I think the, the realness and the, the detail that you go into in the story is what really, um, what really captivated me as you were just, just going through the entire story, because I could feel the intense emotion I could, I could really sense everything from, from you collapsing into your knees in that, in that kitchen area, down to the stairwell. Like it’s, it’s really powerful. And, and I just wanna thank you for that openness and honesty, cuz I mean, it really sets the tone for, for, for everything.
Leah Gervais: So no, thank you. That’s so nice of you to say it’s, you know, it’s taken a while to really be like, this is what happened, so I appreciate your experience with it.
Neal Bakshi: Yeah. Yeah. And just kind of going into a bit of, a bit of my story. So yeah. Uh, about a year and a half ago, um, so let me back up a little further. So February of 2020, we got, we got a new puppy a couple months ago. We had a puppy gate all into our house. Um, just so he would stay in, in like a little training area. Um, and coming home, my mom was bringing in groceries and tripped over the puppy gate, her thumb a little bit partially torn ligament in her thumb, very minor.
She kind of just lived with it for a couple months. And then because of COVID, um, chose to, to wait getting any sort of surgery because it wasn’t really that serious. She could go about her daily life. She was super healthy. Um, and then, uh, ultimately, so she worked in a hospital, uh, one of the doctors was like, oh, what’s wrong with your thumb?
Uh, she said, oh, just like fell over the doggy gate. Like, it’ll be fine. The doctor said, oh, it’s, it’s super simple procedure, 30 minute outpatient thumb surgery. So, uh, she decided to get the surgery just a couple days after my birthday in 2020. I remember the day vividly, uh, I thought it would just be totally fine. Nothing, nothing to worry about. Like super simple. And I get a call from my sister at about, I forget what time sometime in the morning, like between nine or 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM. And she was like, mom, didn’t wake, they can’t arouse mom after surgery. We don’t know what’s happening. We’re driving down from Boston right now. I need you to pack your bags and go immediately back home. And I was like, what going on? Um, and so I have this like workout mat that is just like, you know, doing at home workouts during COVID.
Neal Bakshi: I just collapsed onto the mat. And I was just head in the mat, just like screaming, like what’s going on, like what’s happening. It just all happened suddenly, kind of like your situation. I get back home. Um, she is having severe seizures, convulsing, um, and, uh, this is just at the local hospital, uh, close by, um, go through a bunch of protocols. She’s ultimately in a coma, um, for fast forward for three and a half weeks, we transfer her to a more intensive neuro ICU at UPenn. Um, she’s on a number of very heavy Barbettes and benzos and, um, just basically trying to suppress the seizure activity. Um, it was an extremely intense three and a half weeks, um, of basically met sisters, a physician. So as my brother-in-law, so they are intimately familiar with everything that’s going on.
Um, and basically my sister and I are taking turns to go into the hospital cuz she can only handle so much because it is so intense. Uh, and they only let one person into the hospital of COVID. And so ultimately she passes away. Um, and the following six months that happened in July, the following six months are basically, um, which we’ll go into where we’re just super intense, just filled with grief, a lot of shock immediately, like your situation.
I think that the, the suddenness of, of how it happened for both of us is very congruent and I think adds a layer of just complete, uh, shock and bewilderment and, and disbelief in that, you know, our healthy parents who are right here with us. Right. You know, we just spoke to them. The, the, the other day are just completely gone in, in the blink of an eye and just, and just have departed us in the physical world. So, um, that, that’s just, uh, a bit of the background on, on my story. And so it’s been a healing journey since
Leah Gervais: No matter how many times I hear it breaks my heart for you. And, and, and I’m so sorry for your loss, but thank you also for sharing. And I can, I can completely understand that moment where your world just feels like it’s closing in on you. When, so you, you, you had kind of the worst of both worlds where it was completely sudden and drawn out at the same time, you know? And, and, and not that I think it’s, one’s better than the other ones, easier than the other. If you have like prolonged grief where you’re kind of watching someone who’s sick pass away versus the complete shock, which you and I went, went through, but it does sound like you kind of went through both when, if you don’t mind sharing, when did you in that three weeks get the idea that, that, that this is, this is bad right away.
Neal Bakshi: Um, it’s, it’s a really great que I, I think I, I actually maintained a lot of positivity throughout the entire situation. I think that’s all I really could do. Um, yeah. I, I just remember, like, while that was happening, I mean, my family and I would just like sit together and meditate for hours. Like the family dinners over the course of that week. I mean, my dad, my sister, and brother-in-law have completely silent dinners basically. It’s like, like, what do you even say, talk to everyone’s just like, it was just like, those, those, that period of time is just so striking. Um, it’s hard because I, I, I never truly like, yes, it was a bad situation, but I was always like, it’s gonna be okay. Like, it will be fine. She’s gonna be okay. Like gonna come out of it. And I, I just had to maintain that positive view because the second, my own energy went to worst case possibilities or worst case outcomes. Well, then that, that maybe is gonna draw the worst case outcome. So I need to stay positive for her, for my family, for the situation. And so I just tried to really maintain that, that just like belief that everything would be okay.
Leah Gevrais: Wow. That really just shows how strong and positive of a person you naturally are. Um, alright, so let’s dive in again, thank you for sharing that. Let’s dive into the next part, which we wanna share, which is kind of like, what did the aftermath look like for us? What did the first few months look like for us? How did we even start to process something like that? Did we, you know, and how do you, how do you start to reintegrate your own life with this new kind of horrific piece of it?
I had written down a few things, which I wanna share, but I also just want, you know, one of the things that’s hardest for me and, and it took me a while to admit this to myself. But one of the things that’s hardest for me about this time of year, about that day on March 3rd, obviously it’s reliving the trauma reliving that day, realizing that this actually happened, you know, a lot of the other days of the year, you kind of can, can not think about it.
Um, but I have this weird longing for the week that followed after his passing, which sounds crazy because by all accounts, it was probably the worst week of my life. It was just full of heartbreak. And every time I felt like I could come up for air and kind of grasp what was going on and feel on top of it, I just felt like I got knocked back down again by complete shock and, and, and sadness. And so it’s weird to think that I miss it, but that week following his passing, it was, it, it sounds a little bit similar to maybe what you guys were doing while your mom was, was in the hospital, but it was just my family, my Adam, and then my two sisters and my mom and I, and we just kind of hunkered down and, and just were together straight for the, that week.
And a lot of generous people brought us food and, you know, flowers and were checking in on us. And we were pretty strict with our boundaries that we just didn’t wanna socialize at that point. We were really just trying to, to, to, to stay as a family union. And my dad passed on a Saturday. And so that following week was just really, you know, us. Um, and we were planning his funeral and his funeral. It’s so hard to talk about his funeral was on that Friday. So it was a week later.
His funeral was so beautiful, you know, and I just remember since we had kind of been in this bubble for the full week, I didn’t realize how much everyone else was grieving too. His friends, his family, um, and, and his funerals. When I really, I, you know, I spoke and when I really got up there and saw how many people were there and how many people were hurting and how many people were there to support us and how many people flew into our small mountain town of Colorado to be there.
Um, I miss everything about him. I miss being able to be totally immersed in the life that he had and the person he was. And that’s what’s hard about this time of year. In addition to the shock is realizing that the rest of the most days of the year, I just don’t think about him as much as I probably wish I did honestly. And I think that that might be a survival mechanism in some places. And I don’t really feel guilty about that per se, but I almost crave that just complete of him that we were able to do during that week and how we were able to just talk about him whenever and people would listen and people wanted to talk about him. And so I guess I just wanna share that in case you’re going through something horrific and it might feel like it’s impossible to see the good in the time that you’re going through, but there is a beauty in fully honoring your feeling.
Always, even if they’re very hard to sit with, even if they’re sad, even if they’re depressed even some of the time, because that’s what makes us human. And I don’t know if I did that fully in the first three or six months that he passed, but I did in that week. And that is what I kind of miss about it is that ability and that space to just completely sit with what was happening.
So if you’re in that place, just know that it might feel like you wanna do anything you can to escape it right now, but it might be one of the only times where you can actually pause everything else to not escape it. And, and as painful as that might be, you might not have to like it. But if you can sort of just shift into observing it, I don’t think you’ll regret it. I don’t know if you had a similar experience like that.
Neal Bakshi: Yeah. I think that really, just, as you said, sitting with it is, is so, so, so important. It, um, everyone works through grief in their own way and there’s no really right or wrong way to, to handle it. Everyone sort of goes through their own pathways or how they handle certain situations. Maybe it’s, uh, someone turns to an outlet like working out. I did that a lot to sort of just go for long runs. Um, maybe it is just really turning to books and, and, and, you know, like you said, the pastor brought you a book and, and different sorts of books after, after a loved one dies.
People, people turn to those, but I think really sitting with it, processing it, feeling it acknowledging and accepting it versus the denial and the anger, um, goes a very far way for your own personal healing. And that’s, that’s a really big part of it. And, and you know, that one first week, you know, even though you had it for that first week, it’s really important because it allows you to, to process things, even while things are probably moving at a very rapid pace.
Leah Gervais: Did you find it was natural for you to do that? Or did you almost have to force yourself to sit with it or work at sitting with it?
Neal Bakshi: Definitely had to, to work with sitting, sitting with it, for sure. There was just so much happening in the, in the time period after yeah. Trying to work through understanding my family’s finances. My mom managed everything for the family as a whole. She was the breadwinner. She basically ran, ran the family. Uh, and so a lot of the time was spent with me just trying to help support my family, both in the physical sense of like, what are the bank accounts? Like, where does everything sit? Who do we contact for the mortgages, things like this, and Some of, and, and making sure that the family kind of stayed together because my dad was obviously going through such intense grief. My sister was obviously grieving a lot, and I felt like I had to put my grief on hold so I could get things structurally sound for my family, because it was kind of just this action oriented survival problem solving mode for the first few months. And so afterwards, uh, was, was when a lot of my grief sort of integrated with me further.
Leah Gervais: Mm yeah. It’s insane how much you have to do when someone passes away. Like the to-do list is crazy.
Neal Bakshi: Yeah. It’s, it’s wild and it’s, uh, and no one ever prepares you for something like that. Right. Especially when it happens. So suddenly, like, that’s the last thing you think about your parents? Aren’t like super old. It’s not, it’s not top of mind. And so it’s just, who do we even reach out to? It’s like Googling basically, like, like what do, what happens to a mortgage when someone dies? Or like, like what happens to like the bank accounts, how to transfer over, uh, a car, for example, and like going to the DMV and like all of this stuff, it’s just, it takes so much time. It’s very complicated and yeah. And if you don’t do it, it’s, it’s yeah. Just kind of curious, how did you manage your situation in, in the few months after, I guess after your, or home for that week, and then what kind of evolved for, for you from there?
Leah Gervais: Well, I’m glad you asked and I, and I, and I wanna hear also more, a little bit more about your fitness experience, because I, I put everything into my business. When I got back to New York, I was in Colorado for, I think, two to three weeks. And then when I came back to New York and I went back to, I was still at a nine to five job at this time, just for context for everyone listening. The year that my dad passed, 2018 was the worst year of my life. And in some ways the best, crazy enough, because it was the year that I quit my nine to five job. It was the year that I got engaged. And it was the year that I really started being the person that I had wanted to be for years at that point, but didn’t have the courage to be.
And it was hard to sit with that because I hated that it took my dad leaving for that to happen. And I hated that he wasn’t there to see it, but he, he is here to see it, you know? Um, but at the beginning of that year, at the beginning of 2018, my website had been a blog that had made on a good day, like $50 a month. It was really nothing. I mean, it was nothing like it is now. I really didn’t have the vision for it. I really didn’t believe in myself. I really just didn’t know what could be on the other side of it. And, but I said at the end of 2018, I wanna be in the place where I could give my notice, which the bar wasn’t that high you guys at the point, I wasn’t making that much money at my nine to five job.
It really shouldn’t have had to be such a goal. But after years of just feeling like nothing was happening, that did feel very lofty to me. And then when my dad passed two months later, you know, initially I kind of just thought, well, I, there’s no way I’m gonna put my job in a year because I had now have this horrible situation. How am I ever gonna find the will to work? How am I ever gonna find the motivation? I had every reason for why this should stop me. And there was a point I actually vividly remember on the flight back to New York where I had had, I was on a layover in Denver. And I, you know, was just listening to music. I think I had a mimosa too in me. And I just thought, I don’t have to, I don’t have to B buy into that.
I don’t have to believe that these are, that this is gonna be the reason I can’t do this. I can actually make this, the reason that I can, I don’t know how, I don’t know why. I don’t know if this sounds psychotic, but I’m gonna try to like entertain that for a little while and see if that can be the truth. And, you know, I don’t know if it was through the healthiest motivation, but that was what I did was threw myself into my business. Completely spent every moment that I could muster and that I could energetically be present on my business. Now, there still meant that I spent, there were plenty of days where I didn’t get outta bed. There were plenty of moments where I just felt like I couldn’t even function, let alone work on my business. It wasn’t like I became a machine all of a sudden, but that became the thing I did when I felt okay.
And this was at the cost of my friendships and this was at the cost of my nine to five job, which I just wanna be honest. That’s just how it was, you know, it’s not really a good or a bad thing, but that’s just what it looked like. Um, and by all accounts, I think it was maybe a good thing, because I think when you go through grief, that is when you can turn to other are forms of just coping, like alcohol, like drugs, you know, like, like things that are more harmful on paper. I don’t really like to be judgemental about these things, but this was, I guess, more productive. Nonetheless. I wanna be clear that there was a sense of escapism to it. I was kind of doing it to avoid my life and to avoid my feelings. The, he has a successful ending where I was able to quit my nine to five job, six months after he passed, instead of a year, I did expedite my timeline.
I did sort of channel this into something. Um, but it was a little bit manic. I don’t know. I, I think that, that it’s okay that it was manic because this is how life is sometimes and you just have to deal the hands, your dealt, and this is how I dealt with it. So, um, I poured everything into work. I’m glad I did it. It was a little bit nutty, but it gave me a sense of purpose, which I desperately needed. That was my experience. What about you? You said you, you turned to fitness a lot.
Neal Bakshi: Yeah, the, the immediate outlet for me was just working out, going for runs and, and, and the thing is on these runs that I would go on. I would, it was some way, it was in some ways, a way for me to process the grief, because there was so much happening that I was basically, you know, on my mom’s laptop, trying to like go through her emails and like trying to understand things and get a lay of the land and find out passwords to all of the different accounts and just everything from like insurance accounts to, to, to homeowner stuff. And I was just like, there was just a lot of volume. And so I, I didn’t really have the ability to, to grieve or even really have that alone time. Cuz that was just like, okay, family needs me right now. I gotta step in and, and figure this stuff out.
So what I would do is I would go for these long runs and on these runs, I would just kind of lose my own sort of mind and self and the mind would just go and wander and I would just like start bawling and crying on some of these runs just so intensely. And it was, it was kind of in a way, the ability for me to, to process that and, and work through it. Was it the healthiest? Probably not. I think I was like going a little overboard in terms of like how much I was running maybe and like what I was, you know, putting in my body and fueling myself with and like, was I eating as well as I normally would? Like, no, but, but I think in, in these intense moments, the body reacts immediately how it feels like it needs to react. And then once we understand, and, and again, as coming back to sitting with it and really, really gaining that sense of self-awareness from these situations, we’re able to understand how our bodies react and then start to slowly move them into direction that is more positive for our own growth and our own understanding and grieving and overcoming this and, and really learning from these, these difficult situations.
Leah Gervais: Is there anything you change about how you process it? Because I just wanna preface this. I don’t mean to interrupt you as I intercepted my own thought, but you know, you and I both kind of have this similarity here where we, we processed it in a conventionally healthy way. Right. And I’m saying that in quotations, because I think to the outside world, the fact that we didn’t turn to some of these things that you hear, people go through to trauma turn to, but instead two exercise or two working, these things are productive, both you and I can acknowledge that we maybe took it a little overboard and that it was a sense of escapism.
But I don’t really know that that necessarily means we did it wrong because is there really any world in which we would expect ourselves to go through such trauma and grief and not process it in some sort of extreme way? I mean, there’s just no way that I could go back and expect myself to continue having lived my life, the way that I did before he was gone.
Neal Bakshi: Totally. And I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to yeah. To experience or go through grief. There, there really isn’t E everyone has their own way of handling these things. I think for us, it happened in a position where we were so young that I don’t think we necessarily dealt with. Maybe, you know, I had, I’ve had grandparents pass away and pass on, but it it’s very different when it’s, you’re direct nuclear family.
We were pretty young when we went through this and I don’t like we had the experience of multiple people passing on in our lives to understand, in what ways we grieve to what degrees we grieve when specific people, when we lose specific people in our lives and things like that. I think this was very a shock for, for both of us, both in terms of our development, as, as people, the way we saw the world prior to these situations, and then understanding our own self and, and understanding even really what is true grieving. Right. Because I don’t know if we really had that intense grievance or at least I personally didn’t have as intensive a, this ever in my, in my life.
Leah Gervais: Right. I, yeah. I mean, I totally agree. And I think it’s not something you even should prepare for, you know, it’s kind of, that’s how you get to know what happens is when is when is when it happens, it’s a crash course in, in dealing with it. Did you, um, before we move on from like the last few months, which, or the few months it followed, which I do want to, because both Neal and I say this, uh, with a little bit of, of, of self pride, but I don’t mean to be conceited. And that part of the reason I wanted to create this is in case you are going through something very traumatic right now. And you, I, I remember feeling annoyed about the fact that this could define my life because I was so close to my dad. And I just felt like this was such a tragic thing.
And I just felt like all of a sudden, my twenties were gonna be about learning how to live without my dad. And I, and I didn’t want that to be my story. I didn’t want that to be how people thought of me or that people had to walk on, you know, um, eggshells around me or that this was gonna be what people associated me with. So I, I desperately in a way, looked for successful entrepreneurs who had lost a parent, which I know sounds weird as. And it is kind of weird, but I wanted proof that something really rough could happen to you and you still could be successful. I did not wanna have a dis disadvantage in my life for what I wanted my life to look like. And this felt like such a disadvantage. So if you’re feeling like that, I hope Neal and I sharing our stories.
Both of us are entrepreneurs and both of us have, you know, made it through the other side. And I don’t just mean professionally, but also personally and emotionally and spiritually, you know, yes, this is still a heavy part of my life. And I’m okay with that. I don’t really ever wanna stop missing my dad, but this is not what defines me. And so I really wanna share it from that point of view, in case anyone is feeling like I’m going through something really hard, and this feels like the way people and the way I’m going to define my life right now, you don’t have to let it do that. So before we move on to kind of more of our, our pivot and, and just how we channeled this, was there anything, um, from a personal development standpoint, or like a core wound standpoint that kind of came up from the results of your mom’s passing?
Because I believe in my core that my dad’s departure was part of his soul’s contract that had to do with him and God and the universe. And it wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about my sisters. It wasn’t about my mom. It wasn’t about his mom who, who had to lose a child, she’s still alive. I mean, you can’t imagine that. Um, so I, I logically know that yet in the months that followed, I had a really dark part of me that feared, I attracted this, I manifested this. Somehow I drew this into my life. Maybe I didn’t deserve to have of the dad that I had, what was wrong with me. And I don’t really know why that came up. And it is something I’ve looked at a lot in the, in the years that followed. But, um, my grief went beyond just sadness. You know, it went beyond just like the sadness that I wouldn’t see my dad, it also made me look in the mirror at my own self and, and see parts of myself that I didn’t like. And I, I wouldn’t have thought that would happen. Did you have any experience like that?
Neal Bakshi: Absolutely. Absolutely. I I’m really glad you brought that up because it’s something really difficult to, to talk about and even think about because the, the, our ego mind wants to push that away because our egos are great. Like our egos are perfect. We are, you know, our, we, we always think the best of ourselves. And so when something like that happens, it causes this disjointed feeling between our ego and our true spirit self, where we see some of these like dark aspects of us that want to come out, uh, whether it’s the, did I manifest this for, for, into being, you know, was, was he like too good of a dad.
Whatever that might have might have felt like for you, for me, it was kind of similar it, but a little different in the sense that mine was. My mom always loved me unconditionally. Like never really had a love like that in my life or felt that. And from there, she, she arguably not arguably, she loved me more than I loved myself. And so what came out of it for me was a deep exploration into self love for myself, because I didn’t really have that kind of self love. I was getting it from her all the time. And so I’d went into a lot of deep personal development work to really foster that sense of self love from within
Leah Gervais: Wow. I mean, have you acknowledged how incredible it was that you had the awareness of this loss and that you were, are gonna do the work to fill that yourself? I mean, that’s so strong and just clear and guided and, and you listen to it. I mean, no wonder you’re so good at what you do now.
Neal Bakshi: Yeah. I appreciate that. It it’s, it, it, again, it, it takes time to come to the surface. And what I think is the opportunity to find these things for you is when, again, just sitting with it in the present moment and feeling all of the feelings and emotions, and not maybe we did distract ourselves with working out and working really hard on our businesses, but I think we did do some deep work to allow selves, to sit with that grief and process that, and it doesn’t happen immediately. It takes months. Yeah. It can take any amount of time for you to then feel like, okay, this is the next step in my journey. I need to, I need to really work on this self love aspect of it. And when you just sit with that and allow the, the space just to be completely free and open that’s when these synchronicities or, or instances in your life, chance, coincidence, maybe specific people will come into your life.
Neal Bakshi: Like you came into my life after the situation and, and really asked me, you know, what are my gifts that I can share with people? And I, I really wanna go into how you and I both really stepped into take this really difficult and tragic situation and choosing to view it from the perspective of how, what can I learn from this? How can I grow from this both as a person here on this earth, as well as someone more, more than just the physical someone that, that is connected deeper in their own terms of spirituality or their sense of understanding of their relationship with their parent, even after they’ve passed.
I know you feel sort of the same way in terms of, you know, your dad’s never really left you, right? You still feel a little bit of his presence there. I know, I feel, I, I feel that with my mom as well. And so I I’d really love to go into hearing from you how you manage to take this, you know, very difficult time and make it into something incredibly wonderful, where you can step into this purpose and a, allow it to blossom into an incredible journey for you on your, your entrepreneurial business endeavors and where you are now.
Leah Gervais: Thank you. Yes. I do wanna share first. I wanna ask you a quick question. Um, I hope I can explain this correctly. So, you know, you just shared how you were able to extract your challenging emotions and, and, and find the awareness though. It may have taken time that your mom’s love for you had was, was, was leading you in a sense to find the love, the same kind of love for yourself or, or, or your own self-love on a deeper level. Do you subscribe to the belief that, because that happened to you and because you did this with it, in a sense, was this, I put this in quotes meant to be, you know, what people like to say, everything happens for a reason, or do you instead feel like you and I were able to take the situation at face value? Not that it was divinely guided to us, but that this was the situation, the circumstance, and find purpose out of it from there. Does that make sense
Neal Bakshi: A, a little bit, can you explain the, the second, the second option, I guess, or version a little further?
Leah Gervais: So I guess the contrast I’m trying to, to, to illustrate here is sometimes we think, okay, this horrible thing happened, it must have happened for a reason. I need to find that reason, or we think this horrible thing happened, period. What can I do from here? How do I find resourcefulness and move forward? Not necessarily like this was meant to happen, but that this happened. And I’m just gonna have to figure it out from here. I think I’m more the latter.
Neal Bakshi: It’s a super interesting question because I, I think I, I think the latter is a way of really driving and pushing yourself. But I think the former is a way to give, pushing yourself more and deeper intrinsic reason for it. If that makes sense, because it’s like, oh, like this, this happen for a reason. And maybe it’s like partially accepting that’s part of the acceptance aspect of what happened. And then using the situation being like, how can I move forward from here? Like, yes, this happened, let’s not just worry about the past and focus on why this had to happen, but let’s just see, okay, this happened, this is a definitive point in time. It already happened in the past. What can I do here to learn and grow and move forward and be forward thinking from the difficulty of the situation once I’ve processed and taken all of that in.
Leah Gervais: Hmm. I love that perspective. It’s almost like it gives you the gift of asking yourself what a thing is trying to teach you and, and finding the, the blessing in it. I, I could get down with that. I think I also think if you don’t subscribe to that, that’s okay. Because there is the argument, or just kind of the way of looking at the world in which circumstances are neutral. We, we can sit here and say that our parent passing away was horrible and our experience with it probably was horrible, but there’s also a way where we can sit with it and just say, it just, that’s just what happened. It’s not horrible. It’s not good. It’s not bad. It’s not SA he just passed away. You know, he’s just every, all of us do it. And this is what happened. And, and, and, and where do I go from here?
So I think whatever way is going to help you process it better, if it helps you find, feel that motivation and that gift of whatever, the, the hard thing is, is of what it’s trying to teach you, then that’s great. If you don’t wanna see it as something that’s meant to teach you something, but you need to just come back to neutral. You can do that too. Anyway. I was just curious what your take on it was, cuz I think it’s a good kind of approach to how we look at any circumstance or any challenges, what it is that trying to teach us versus neutrality.
Neal Bakshi: I couldn’t agree with you more on, on all of that, right? It’s it comes back to, to something that I, I truly believe is that there’s no good or bad there just is. Yeah. And you can, you can really learn from any and grow from any situation good or bad. And, and it doesn’t really, we of course live in this world of dualities, right? It’s like beautiful, ugly, strong, weak, happy, sad, bad, fearful, and, and, and just confident exuberant. So what we live in this world of duality is the good and the bad, it’s our way to learn and grow and understand. But if we stop looking at it from the lens of, yeah, this is a bad thing, but instead, start to look at it, how can I learn and grow from the situation? We don’t need a veil and the good and bad positive negatives anymore. Mm.
Leah Gervais: So good. Bingo. I think that’s it just, this is the situation it’s from neutral. I’m approaching it. And what is it here to teach me whether it’s good or bad, I can learn. Beautiful. Okay. So thank you for, for going there with me to answer your question. So my, my, my entrepreneurial journey from here, how did it, how did it happen? How did I do it? You know, I, I, I’m really proud of myself during that time, but at the same time I had to, I ha you know what I mean? Like once you’re led there, you don’t really have the choice. And I think one of the greatest gifts that my grief gave me, especially as an entrepreneur, is the gift of perspective. I no longer feel paralyzed when things go wrong, uh, in the way that I did before my dad passed away, because they’re never really unfixable.
They’re just never really that permanent, nothing. You know, I know what it’s like for something to feel permanent. I know what it’s like for something to feel unfixable. And I know what it’s like for something to feel like it’s the end and no, not once in my business, has that actually ever been the reality? That doesn’t mean that really thing, like hard things haven’t happened throughout it. I’ve had the rejections, I’ve had months where I’ve made no sales. I’ve had launches that fail. I’ve had people write me mean emails, all the things that we feel so afraid of when we are imagining what this could be like on the other side, and we’re wanting to move forward, but this is preventing us. Those things have happened for me. And this is something that I think I can’t say enough. It was my biggest takeaway.
As you know, Neal, last year, we crossed a million dollar mark for the first time, which was really exciting. And thank you. My number one takeaway from that journey is that, you know, I think it’s so easy for us to, to try to talk ourselves out of our fears. And I think a lot of coaches do that. They say, look at where you’re afraid of. Is it really likely to happen? Um, you know, that probably won’t even happen. Just don’t be afraid of something that hasn’t yet happened. And, and I don’t disagree with that all entirely, but I also think that the more helpful school of thought isn’t to just convince yourself that your fears won’t come true, or isn’t just to try to tell yourself I’m afraid of this, but it probably won’t happen. It can happen. And you’ll be okay.
Anyway, that is really the strength. And so when I look back at all the fears I had at the beginning of this journey, what if I don’t make money one month? What if I struggled to pay my bills one month? What if people think X, Y, and Z about me? What if people judge me, you know, I’m blasting myself on social media. That’s not an easy thing to do, and I’m not a shy person. I show that I like to go shopping and I talk about how much money I have things that look like I’m choosing to do them, and I am choosing to do them, but I’m putting myself in a vulnerable situation still.
I’ve been afraid of people judging me, family members, thinking things of me. And honestly, almost all of those fears have happened. And I still made the seven figure, mark, I’m still self-employed. I still am in the game. You know? And I think when you can really see that within yourself, that yes, the fears I have probably won’t happen, but even if they do, I will rise to the occasion and come through it. That’s when you can really move so much faster and also enjoy the journey. And I think that grief and my dad’s passing is what allowed me to start shifting into that way of thinking, because nothing ever felt quite as scary or as unmanageable as that did anymore.
Neal Bakshi: That’s amazing. And, and I, I couldn’t resonate more with what you said. It, it really, it kind of puts it on a fear scale, right. Of zero to a hundred, where a hundred is the passing of our parents. And we lived through it and we experienced it. And if that’s the biggest fear and we already went through that, well, then everything else is falling in line somewhere between zero and 99. And we can definitely handle that if this. And I think it also reminds me just, uh, of course, right, naturally who I am, bring this back to spiritual to.
There’s a story of, um, in Buddhism where Sadar guttata is sitting under the bohi tree that he’s meditating under for years. And he has, uh, one day swords and arrows shot at him. And while he’s just sitting and meditating under this tree, however, instead of just running away or looking away or getting up and moving, he sit there while these sorts and arrows are coming to him.
Neal Bakshi: And as they get closer, they turn into flowers. And so that story it’s called the four MAs of Buddhism. It really shows you that if you just kind of, if you just sit with it, these fears, we face the fears that are meant to come into our lives. And once we look at them, they can turn into these flowers. And so we can use these difficult times, these fears that come into our lives, these things that are holding us back and thinking that, uh, our anxieties or doubts or overthinking, whatever it might be, but just sit with them and allow us to integrate them and not run a away from them. But those fears will then turn into flowers that we can, we can use for, for goodness in our life
Leah Gervais: For that, for the beautiful parts of our life. What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing that. I, I had never heard that. I think, I mean, yeah, I, I, I agree with everything that you said, and I think that, um, that perspective, you know, it still really drives me to this day. I don’t know. I’m, I’m excited to hear kind of how this started sitting with you, but to take this a little bit superficially, to be totally honest. And, and I don’t mean it on a superficial level, but just to illustrate a little bit what this looked like. You know, I remember sitting in my nine to five cubicle after I came back from new to New York after I was in Colorado for those weeks. And, um, I was working at a nonprofit. I had a good job, you know, I’m not one of those people.
I was just like, I was so miserable. I hated my life. I had a good job. I wasn’t making very much money, but I was, I was overall happy, but I remember browsing street easy. Which for those of you that don’t live in New York, you probably don’t know it. It’s like new York’s exclusive version of Zillow. It is awesome for real estate fans out there. It’s like looking it porn. If you love real estate, I could just look at all the beautiful New York city real estate all day. And I was looking at it and I was thinking like one day I wanna be able to buy, you know, a, a nice apartment and have a family here. And, um, that was always a dream of mine. And I just so vividly, I would just sit there and, and, and some of those days at work were so hard to get through, you know, I just could blow Lu through them.
And I was so sad and heartbroken, and I didn’t wanna talk to anyone. And, and, and it just can be so tough. And, and, and sometimes something that got me through was visualizing, being able to buy an apartment in New York, a nice apartment, which is no, you know, it’s not for the faint of heart and have a room exclusively for my mom in this apartment where, you know, it was just for her and she could come and be with her grandkids and, and just be able to sort of connect with my dad as you know, the partner who raised her children with her, and for them to just know that, you know, I’m here to take care of her in that way. And I’m here to support her and be here for her. And that really drove me. And it gave me hope on some of those really tough days.
And it was so clear to me that visualization. And then I would just look around and think if I, if I really wanna do this, I can’t work at a nonprofit for the rest of my life. I can’t even work at a nine to five for the rest of my life, unless you are a partner at a big or a partner at a big law firm or things like that. It’s just really unrealistic to do some, to, you know, to have that kind of money to be, to be honest. And it wasn’t just about the money. It just was about me realizing how much I really did want out of the world still and out of life still and how much bigger I was going to have to think and act if I wanted to do that.
I still think like that, you know, my dad passed when he was 58, which is young, I’m 29. If I were to pass away the same age he did, my life would be halfway over. And I don’t mean that to sound heavy. I don’t mean that to sound depressing. This is it. No dress rehearsal, no. Do over no rewinds, no regrets. You’ve gotta just go. And I, and I think about that all the time still,
Neal Bakshi: Truly, and everyone always says, life is too short. Life is too short. We hear it all the time. Whether it’s people at work, whether it’s our friends, family members, sticker,
Bumper stickers, life is too short, but it’s, it’s, it’s hard for us to truly internalize that and think about that when we’re stuck in the minutia of the day to day, where, you know, every little task feels like the biggest thing in the world, and right. And, and I think that, you know, even though some things might be, might be pretty big, it’s just about going out there. And using the time that we have, and it doesn’t happen instantaneously.
You’re not gonna see this big change in one day, but that’s the beauty about making small progress? Like I know you worked so hard over the course of that six months to expedite your timeline, taking calls in the, in the, in the closet at work. Like these are some, some really, really hardworking in intense things to go through.
But these are the small steps that add up on a daily basis to lead you to where you are, to be able to expedite that timeline six months sooner, to be able to grow your business to seven figures within a short amount of time, all of that helps you to elevate. And it’s all about the small steps that you take on a daily basis and make that to really look back and see a year has gone by, and the amount of growth you’ve been able to experience either in your business or your own personal development or your relationships in that year, by the steps you’ve taken on, on a daily basis.
Leah Gervais: Mm. Yeah, I, I, I totally agree. Uh, it’s this stuff gives me chills, cuz it can, I, I think that, that you and I had this sense of certainty come over us when we realized that we wanted to make something out of this where the, those habits and that daily commitment wasn’t even really something it’s not even really something you think about anymore. It’s not really an option. It’s just who you are. You just get up and do it, you know, and you don’t really have to recommit every day because you already are. And I, and I wanna hear how, how you kind of came to that place, but just to give everyone a little bit more context into that year. So I had those days where I was at work and I was like, I don’t know what I’m doing here. I don’t wanna wait a year.
I don’t care that I’m going through intense grief. I need to make something out of my life that would make my dad proud. That would make me proud. I have to do this. And that then turned into a lot of very, very early mornings and a lot of very late nights. And I mean, I’ve never been really good at late nights, but like very early mornings and I’m very get tired very easily. Yeah. Sales calls in the supply closet. You know, I did a webinar once in the bathroom. Like I, it happen and, and um, just to give people more practical tips, like if you’re in that beginning hustle phase, I, uh, the first thing I did was realize what I didn’t know, which was one, I hadn’t really made any sales two. I didn’t really have a huge audience. And three, I didn’t really know exactly even had to connect the two.
Leah Gervais: So I invested in a business coach. I invested in a Facebook ads, mentorship. I did not have the money to do those things. I went into debt for the first time in my life to do those things, which also was a mind because my dad was an accountant and always was very anti, like credit card debt. I went to consumer debt to be clear. It’s not like I went to a business and or a bank and was like, I need a business loan that would’ve been way more official. No, like straight up credit card, scan it. And um, but I just, I just did it because what was working, what I was doing, wasn’t getting me there. You have to just do things differently. And um, so I learned how to, you know, grow my own website. I learned how to grow my email list.
I learned how to package services. I learned how to do sales call. I mean, I just got really aggressive about it. And I, and I laid out all these milestones for the months that I needed in order to quit my job. Like I needed to make this amount for this amount of time for me to feel comfortable doing this. And I needed to have enough in savings and to be clear, probably about 30% of that, did I actually do, you know, like I didn’t make as much as I wanted every month and I didn’t have as much in savings as I, but I just did it anyway because the time piece was more precious to me than the money, which I always felt like I could remake. And, um, yeah. Then I quit my job in September, which was like exactly six months after he passed away.
And I think that that was really divine because I remember after he passed and I straight up to Adam, um, was like, I think I should just quit my job now. Like, I don’t know. I don’t wanna spend one more day there. I think I need to do something different. And my, our pastor who, who did my dad’s service said, here’s my advice don’t make any huge life decisions for six months because you will do stuff out of escapism.
You will do stuff out of just franticness. And, and I was like, okay, that sounds good. But it wasn’t even totally because of that, it just sort of worked out that after six months, I was like, yeah, I still wanna do this. And I had kind of had that time. You know what, I, I, I am glad that I didn’t do it right away because I did still have a paycheck to kind of keep me going during that.
So, so that’s what it looked like. And my, my dad’s been my business partner ever since. Um, it was not a sustainable way to work and I admit that, but I also have no shame in that. I think that there’s almost a little bit, the pendulum has almost swung too far in the opposite direction, where with more spirituality in our, in, in the business world, which is net a good thing, but sometimes there is a place for pushing it and really seeing what you’ve got in your tank and really giving it your all it’s.
You know, I know Neal, you’re such a fitness enthusiast. It’s the same with working out as much as we wanna be kind to our bodies. And I totally believe in that sometimes nothing feels better than seeing if you can go the extra mile or do the extra weight, or really seeing what you’re made of. There’s nothing unholy making the most of the gifts that you have, even when it sometimes hurts. And so I’ll never regret that time and I no longer live like that. And I wanna be clear if you’re in a hustle phase, it doesn’t have to be forever, but there’s nothing wrong with making your dreams happen,
Neal Bakshi: But a hundred that, that was, if you take something away from the podcast, that is, that is what to take a way that, that I felt that deep down. That was, that was really amazing. Thank, thank you for that.
Leah Gervais: Thank you, Neal. I appreciate it. Tell, tell us your story. How did I feel like we could talk forever? I need to be a little more mindful of your time. Tell us how this turned into a business for you.
Neal Bakshi: Yeah, absolutely. So after that initial sort of six month period of time after 22, 20 pass, 2020 was a difficult year for every single person in this planet. Right. Just adapting to new ways of life.
Leah Gervais: And you must have been so lonely throughout this all too. Geez.
Neal Bakshi: I mean, part of it, I, I was turning to my, my, my day job, which was, uh, basically working in investment banking and, and using that as just let’s go full steam at, at, at everything I need to do for work and, and continue to do that. But then what happened is in the first three months of 2021 in my morning meditation. So I, I, meditation is a huge part of my daily routine daily practice. In my morning meditations, I kept getting this really strong feeling that said, you need to help people. You need to, people you need help with. And I had no idea what that even meant. And I got that for three months straight. And you were checking on me periodically over this period of time, which I’m internally grateful for, for just thank you for checking in on me and just asking how I’m doing and things like that.
Neal Bakshi: And then we ultimately got to a conversation where I was like, you know, like, like what do you, what do you do? Like, and I, I remember that conversation and you’re like, yeah, like let’s, let’s talk about it. And then there was one conversation that you and I had where you really pulled out from me. You were like, what gifts do you have that you can share with the world? And I was like, I don’t know. Like, I guess people think I’m, I’m, I’m relatively like, can give good pieces of advice or, or interesting things to talk about or help guide people and help them out. And I was like, you’re like, okay, like take that away and think about that for a little bit. So we, I, about that and then synchronistically life coaching certifications happened to come into my life like the following week.
And my, we just started to talk and you were like, well, this is what we can do. And so I really spent 2021 building a life coaching business through all these, again, coaching certifications came into my life, Reiki, certifications, energy work, all the right books in terms of understanding positive psychology and, and, and deep spirituality, which is now very, very big part of, of my coaching programs.
All of this is to say that it was a lot of work. I get up at three 30 in the morning, just like you early morning, working on the weekends every weekend, sacrificing going out with friends, be it to brunch or even to dinners. Cause I need to work on the business. I need to like help do this. If this is something that I really feel so passionate about and so driven and doing that personal development work better myself so I can better help my clients.
Neal Bakshi: And so it it’s a lot of work in terms of, yeah, you’re gonna have to sacrifice some stuff, but how much does it really matter to you? How badly do you want it is what it comes down to. And when you feel like something is meant for you and you’re in alignment and you start to reach a flow state when you’re working and doing that stuff. And it doesn’t really even feel like work anymore, to an extent like that is what takes you to that next level in your business and your entrepreneurial journey. It is partially gonna be sacrifice. But on the other side of it is something that you know is meant for you.
Leah Gervais: Hmm. So beautiful. Um, I have two you questions to follow up to that. So the first is, well, the first has two parts. Do you feel like your mom’s passing was the catalyst to this all in the end? And if so, how do you kind of apply that experience to everything that you go through now, as you’ve taken risks and really sacrificed and done all the very real challenges that come with the early years of business?
Neal Bakshi: I think it was absolutely a catalyst. I think without it, I would still be working in investment banking, chasing all the money, chasing the houses, chasing the power, chasing the promotions, all of it. I was, I’ve always very much been sort of focused on that. And this was a wake up call in terms of me ask, who am I really, what am I here to do? What is my purpose? It really is to be in service to others, to help people, to guide people and how I now view every situation on the back of that. I, I even have a little sticky note on my computer to remind me of this it’s that I am grateful for everything happening in my life right now in this moment, especially the things that are bad or busy or annoying. And I, I thank those things for helping me learn and grow.
Neal Bakshi: Even if it’s someone sending me an email at work who is really ungrateful in the way they ask for something, or it’s annoying, it’s an annoying task that I need to do or say, I, I, I even got, got like sick and maybe the sickness is teaching me something and helping me grow in some way. Maybe it’s giving me time off from work so I can work on my business or work on developing my own energetic healing skills too through Reiki or things like that.
So it’s always looking at things through a lens of thank you for helping me learn and grow. And it’s doing that at the time, right? It’s like looking back on the situation and saying, oh, you know, two years or a year and a half ago, my mom passed on and that the silver lining was it pushed me into my entrepreneurial path, but when things like that happen.
And so, so, so hard to do. I’m not saying it’s easy, but we can start with the small things like that, triggering email or whatever about be being grateful in the moment for the things that frustrate us and annoy us, cuz those are the things that help us push past to not just see the silver lining a year later or two years later. But when we start to practice gratitude in the moment of the hard times, then that’s when our mindset starts to shift. And our perspective on life in the world starts to take on to totally different meeting.
Leah Gervais: Amazing. And that’s when you quantum leap, because all of a sudden your ability to move through challenges, collapses, you know, you do it at, in record time compared to someone who that email takes them out of the game for a whole day. They’re off the rest of the day. They’re mean to their spouse. They’re annoyed at, you know, whoever they don’t go to the gym cuz they had a bad day. They a drink a little more instead or whatever. And I’m not trying to criticize anyone here, but you can see how those things take up your precious time when you really have progress to be made.
So the way that you’re able to just see you don’t have to like every situation, but see that there’s something out of it for your benefit. You’re not out of the, you don’t, you do not take yourself out of the game or if you do it significantly shorter, you know, you’re a allowed to go on a walk for half an hour, cuz you got in a bad mood or something, but then you kind of come back and you’re able to be where you like be in control of your emotions again, instead of having that kind of overrule you and lose your power to it.
Neal Bakshi: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Leah Gervais: Um, I have a second question for you, but do you have a question for me cuz mine, I, I need to be more succinct with that. I’m talking. I could go on forever.
Neal Bakshi: Um, you, you, you go ahead first. Go ahead first.
Leah Gervais: So, uh, I think that this is a good way to start wrapping it up because this is now more just general entrepreneurship advice. Um, one thing that you said, and I thought of too is, is you said, how bad do you want it? And you know, you’re someone that I’ve seen go from literally like Googling what I do and you know, trying to take tutorials on active campaign to, you know, signing your own clients and, and, and having a business be successful and, and really just do amazing things. And, and a year honestly, um, I there’s a lot of people who would listen to us talk right now and they’d say, I’m annoyed at hearing you guys because I also want it so bad. I wanna be successful. I wanna quit my job. I wanna make six figures. I wanna, I wanna, I want it.
And simultaneously what they probably don’t understand is that their, their, their tension comes from the fact that whether they wanna admit it or not, there’s other things that they will want that are overpowering their desire for success. Like they, they want that money in their bank account versus being spent on, you know, a coach or their business or whatever they want to not be made fun of so badly that they aren’t willing to put themselves out there. And so they have this tension of, I want success so bad, but I still wanna feel safe in the ways that I’m not. So could you just share a little bit about either how you gave up some of those things or how you would help someone see that they are kind self-sabotaging in that situation?
Neal Bakshi: Yeah, that that’s so, so crucial and it it’s, it’s really a journey for all of us. It, it would, I would be remiss to say I wasn’t in the theme as, and I, I was, uh, judging myself in terms of, am I gonna be too out there for someone? Am I gonna be too salesy? Oh, talking myself into, do I even have the money to spend on this? I would rather do X, Y, Z. It’s too expensive. But I think what pushes people in their entre entrepreneurial journey is, is coming back to overcoming the fears, the fears and the resistance, at least personally, in my journey, everything that I have resisted has ended up being what was meant for me.
And it’s so interesting to look back and be like growing up. I grew up in a very spiritual family. I, I always went through it didn’t necessarily always, but you know, meditation became more habitual and just practiced for the sake of practicing. And then through all of this, I went deeper now into my meditation spirituality practice and ever before, things like that, even in your own business and what it might be, you have a to-do list of things that you want to do. And there’s always that one thing on the to-do list that you’re like, yeah, it’s okay. If I don’t get to this today, I can, I can do it tomorrow. I can get the next week.
Leah Gervais: Yeah, no, but I hear you.
Neal Bakshi: No, exactly. But, but it’s that one thing that, because there’s something that’s either that it’s too big of a task and you’re scared to tackle the whole thing, or you’re fearful of something that, of just doing it and spending the time on it and you push it off and procrastinate on that. I think really it is truly, I mean, everyone always says this, get comfortable getting uncomfortable. It’s another way of saying you push yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s it’s how are you looking to, to do that? What happens in your life if you don’t make this change and how will this change ultimately impact your, your best wellbeing either for your business, its growth, your own personal growth, your own situation, and then ultimately asking yourself why it really matters to you. I think those are really three core fundamental questions to really help any entrepreneur and push them forward in, in their own growth journey.
Leah Gervais: That’s so smart. And again, as someone who looks into a lot of people’s businesses, more often than not something that Neal could be referring to is on your to-do list, having to do with sales selling. That’s what freaks people out the most. And so if you can go through whatever sales email you’re not sending, or whatever sales call you’re putting off or whatever, and ask the things Neal just brought up about, you know, what am I making this mean? What does it mean if I don’t do this, et cetera, you will, you will be able to, to really Excel through it. So I think that that’s incredible.
Neal Bakshi: I wanna ask you Leah now after, you know, bringing this all together in terms of, you know, having trauma and, and finding purpose throughout this trauma, if you could give maybe your best piece of advice or something that comes to you most intuitively in terms of someone that is, is really struggling with either, you know, maybe it’s a tough breakup. Obviously everyone goes through different traumas.
Maybe it’s a tough breakup, the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a house, um, a situation that didn’t go, how they, they wanted it to, they didn’t get their dream job. They didn’t get into their college, whatever it might be. Someone who’s gone through some form of this, this trauma or, or, or setback. What piece of advice do you have for them in terms of being able to find purpose and pull through a difficult time to reach the other side and, and feel motivated.
Leah Gervais: Great question. And I wanna hear your answer next. Um, this is a great way to end it. So my, the, the number one piece of advice I would give to someone in a challenging situation, to your point, whether that’s a divorce or a loss, or, you know, something really financially challenging is that you have no clue how powerful you are. You couldn’t even put it into words because the words don’t exist.
No matter how much spiritual work you do, or how much you love yourself, you still can’t even depict it because there’s no proper way to describe how powerful the human spirit is. It is the most powerful force on earth. It is why people live in the most unlikely of circumstances. It is why people heal from things are not supposed to, it is how we overcome the most horrific of circumstances. And you don’t have to dwell on the challenging parts of it, but just even settle in knowing that there’s a power within you, that gets to decide how this story ends and that whatever circumstance you’ve been put in is current and present.
And oftentimes actually just past and not future. And if you can just even tap into a sliver of the power within you, you’ll start to realize that you can weave this in a different direction. Um, I opened up about how I, I had a fear that this would be a defining part of my life. And I guess I would be lying if I said that it isn’t. Um, but it’s almost because I want it to be it’s, it’s a part of me. And it’s a way that I still feel connected with my dad, but it is not the way that I thought it was going to be. It is not my story. And that came from me realizing that I could write the in whatever way I wanted to. I could still go on to be happy and have a family and, um, and, and build my business and quit my nine to five job.
And, and I know that those things might sound obvious now in hindsight, but when you’re in the depths of it, and I remember this, I did not know for sure that I would ever be happy again. I really had moments of that realness of not knowing that. And I still think that just finding some sense of power within me is what allowed me to make this go in the direction that I wanted it to. And I, I don’t even like saying this, cuz it sounds so bumper sticker or Pinterest quotey, but you know, the, it, it is true that the passes is only what you give power to. And that doesn’t mean you have to deny things that have happened or the circumstances you’re in, but you do not have to give them power in the future. So that’s my biggest piece of advice is try to tap into just a little bit of the resilience of the human spirit.
Let yourself dream again. You know, I think that it’s, it was hard for me to think of how life could get good. Again, maybe sometimes I felt, felt selfish, but try to give yourself the space to think about what you do want to, to happen next. And even if you don’t know how you’re going to get there, even if you don’t believe it fully, that you can right now just giving yourself the space to connect to it is the right first step and slowly but surely to your point, Neal, a little bit every day, you really can make things happen beyond what you can see right now.
Neal Bakshi: Absolutely. And, and that’s, that’s what I, so, so, so powerful. No thank you for, for sharing that. I think it’s extremely important that the power of the human spirit can, can truly transcend really the most difficult times for all of us. It’s really how we choose to use our perspective to either shift or spur this growth for us. So I definitely agree.
Leah Gervais: What about you?
Neal Bakshi: Yeah, I would, I’d say that obviously it starts with making sure that we, we sit with grief first and, and coming back to acknowledging and accepting it as opposed to denying it or, or letting anger fuel it, uh, and doing some of that self, that deep self work first. But ultimately we, we build relationships in our lives with, with people. We build relationships with even things or places or ideas in our life. And we start to define ourselves by those relationships. We, we ultimately, when they, when then we ultimately lose them, it feels like a part of us is then lost because we are defining ourselves by either our attachment to that person or that thing, or that job or that idea or that house that we’re living in. So when we lose it, we lose a part of ourselves and that’s where the really comes from.
Neal Bakshi: And so my, my best advice is to, once you work through that and understand your grief is to start doing that deep self work, to define yourself based on your own relationship with you first, because then from there, every other relationship is an to that relationship that you already have with yourself. And it comes back to self love and self-worth, and self-compassion that we beat ourselves up all the time, how we talk to ourselves is super important. Cause that starts to dictate our own narrative of our own individual life that we choose to live. And so, uh, I think it’s, it’s coming back and generating a lot of that self-awareness for, for you individually, after you go through something like that to, to then use that to step into your own purpose from a place of true self-love and compassion.
Leah Gervais: Wow. That is so beautiful. That’s inspired me to just even go deeper with self-love it’s because even relationships with our immediate fam family that we feel like are such an inherent part of who we are and they can be, and that’s okay. They still also could just be sort of like the icing on the cake of the love that you have for yourself.
Neal Bakshi: Yep, absolutely.
Leah Gervais: Absolutely amazing. I can’t thank you enough for coming on here and sharing your story. So vulnerably and so openly and, and so beautifully the takeaways you have. I mean, I’ve, you know, been going through grief for longer than you have and you still gave me things to think about how I can apply them to my own grief and journey and process. And especially with March 3rd coming up, I’m really grateful that I gotta hear everything you said. So thank you so much. Um, where can people find more about you?
Neal Bakshi: Absolutely. Um, thank you for having me on first of all, I really appreciate, first of all, you being there through all of the situation that helped me grow and evolve throughout my own brief journey. And so, so thank you. And you’re doing incredible work by sharing this story from, from both of our perspectives to hopefully work and inspire with other entrepreneurs and, and let people realize their true dreams and goals and, and show them that yeah, life can be difficult.
Life is unpredictable, but once we start to release into the fact of not trying to control the outcome that life gives us, but instead shifting our perspective on these outcomes, that life shifts us, gives us that’s when our biggest growth and, and your biggest and can really come into, uh, into fruition. Um, and so where people can find me, I am a certified life coach.
I focus on, uh, spirituality self-love and purpose. And, um, you can find me on my website, NealBakshi.com. I’m also on Instagram @NealBakshi. Um, but yeah, just thank you for having me on, I, I couldn’t be more grateful and, uh, I’m excited for, for all the other entrepreneurs listening to this, to go through their journey. And the journey really is the destination, and you gotta love the journey. Uh, if you, if you want the outcome, it, it really is, uh, about just going through it and, and becoming the best person that you can be through that.
Leah Gervais: He’s the real deal. You guys check him out on Instagram. I love your stuff. Uh, well, thank you. Thank you again. And you know, I, I know your mom’s always with you. I can see it right, right with you right now.
Neal Bakshi: Thanks Leah. Same with your dad. Of course.
Leah Gervais: Appreciate it. All right. Thanks visionaries. If you guys love this episode, reach out to us and, um, thank you for listening. I know that it’s not an easy conversation or a topic sometimes. So if you made it this far, we, we see you. We appreciate you. And here is to you biggest vision.
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