How Ishita Gupta Made (Your) Fear Her Business
Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do;” these words describe the path to success for Ishita Gupta, which has been paved precisely with doing things that she never thought she could do.
From a traditional Indian family that moved to the United States to give her and her siblings security and stability, Ishita was on her way to medical school when she felt a stir she could not ignore. Her friends and family were shocked when she dropped the news that she wanted to become an entrepreneur instead.
Her first big transformation came when she moved away from the familiarity of her circle to pursue photography.
“I had to surround myself with like-minded people who were in the trenches of what I wanted to do,” Ishita said. “I had to become strong in myself before I could come back and show my parents what I was doing and why I believed in it.”
But Ishita didn’t just study photography, she made a short film, read as many books and blogs as she could, and was accepted into Seth Godin’s – a revered entrepreneur and online marketing guru – Six Month MBA Program. She went on to helping launch six bestselling books through The Domino Project and in partnership with Amazon.
It was during that time that Ishita’s fear and lack-of-confidence were magnified, screaming for her attention. She was out of her element. But instead of letting fear win out, she founded an online magazine called FEAR.LESS, where she interviews hundreds of well-known authors, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders on how they’ve overcome fear.
“Fear is a signal that you are doing the right things. That you are doing BIG things – and the fear is there for a reason. The most successful people I know shared with me that their fear continues to amplify with their success, but they know how to prepare for it and deal with it.”
“I learned that fear is a signal that you are doing the right things,” Ishita said. “That you are doing BIG things, and the fear is there for a reason. The most successful people I know shared with me that their fear continues to amplify with their success, but they know how to prepare for it and deal with it.”
Ishita describes a the refining process in which she learned that confidence is about taking action when you feel fear. “When you are running your own business and you don’t have self-belief and confidence, that is a long, long road. But you can start building confidence! It is not easy, but it is learnable and trainable.”
“You can start building confidence! It is not easy, but it is learnable and trainable.”
This major life lesson morphed into her own thriving personal business. “Fear has no demographic,” Ishita said, “It is something we all feel.” Exploring this universal feeling through her interviews and the development of FEAR.LESS helped her find her own authentic voice, learn from her mistakes, and help others too.
Today, she is set on helping both men and women unlock their potential, and “make fear your ally.” Explore her site and download her Confidence Manifesto to build lasting self-confidence; you can also receive one-on-one training, or participate in group sessions. She also offers life-coaching, marketing, brand and business development, and guidance to first-time and veteran authors.
We loved talking with Ishita and the building blocks that influence her work with her clients: sustainability and training. Here were a few more of her most quotable moments, as she so honestly shared her story, passion, and enthusiasm for seeing women succeed globally:
“Our job as women entrepreneurs is to be leaders! We might have more obstacles, but it just means we have more opportunity. We can bust through these challenges in ways no one has before!”
“We have to train…it is imperative and nothing to be ashamed of. Confidence is not a matter of good biology or something you are born with – YOU can have it! We must learn discipline…train to become martial artists and renegades in a sense. Often our parents, our mentors, they do not teach us how to get emotionally fulfilled for what life is throwing at us. Confidence is the big kahuna – it is what every successful person has in droves. It doesn’t mean they don’t have fear simultaneously, it just means they are training so they don’t get off their game. They have tools and preparation to help them.”
“I work with men and women, but primarily in women entrepreneurs I see a fear of not believing in their own story. I see common fears of feeling guilty when we prioritize ourselves over family, husbands or social circles…of not saying no and people-pleasing; a fear of not balancing it all. Rarely do I talk about balance, sustainability and life-force with male clients. As women we have a solid understanding that we want both: we want to be loving moms and sisters and family and friends, as well as devoted to our dreams and what we know is going to help other women. It’s a blessing and a curse, a unique position we are i. It is hard to balance but I try to teach women that I have to be strong in myself first. I have to build what I need to build. Other people will take up all your time and energy if you let them! So we must be present with ourselves, set personal boundaries so we can feel the purpose to do work that matters, that is when you can give the most to others. I tell women that YOU doing the work you ultimately dream of is the best thing you can do for you kids! When we are running around all stressed out, like a mad woman trying to balance it all, part of your soul is unfulfilled. But teaching kids and other people that WHAT YOU WANT is really possible, that is the best feeling!”