Welcome to yet another edition of the Times Of Amma Mompreneur series where we talk to mothers who have transformed their passions into money-making ventures. From online jewellery stores, to handmade craft collectibles to potential actualizing workshops and much more. We hope that their accounts of the highs and lows of their entrepreneurial journey will inspire other mothers to hold on to their dreams and follow them through.
Today, we speak to Jaya Narayan a Bangalore based freelancer who specializes in offering Behavioural Coaching and expressive art based interventions for personal growth and self discovery.
Jaya is an old friend and also an involved mother of two. She has always been a source of inspiration for me. And I believe her journey from a Corporate job with an MNC to a Behavioural Coach and Process Worker will inspire the Times Of Amma community, as well.
Could you tell us a little about your professional journey so far?
After completing Masters in Human Resources from TISS, I spent the first 13 years of my professional journey working in the Human Resources function. I was part of global organisations and experienced a multicultural work environment.
Looking back at that time, I am grateful for the myriad learning opportunities that came my way. My corporate work experience has become a living reference point in understanding human processes and diversity of people & relationships.
In 2008, I took the big leap of faith. I ventured out of a cosy work environment to carve out a unique path for myself. At that time the need was for the work content to be out of box. In the last few years, i have become clearer about my offerings. The keywords have become “personal growth and development”
In working with clients, I use an intermodal approach combing process work, expressive art therapy, coaching and positive psychology. I have worked with a diverse set of people in their endeavour to “find themselves” and “embrace their potential”. My clients include both self-paying individuals and corporate sponsored interventions.
Was it tough to make the switch to an independent consultant and behavioural coach?
I think the tough part was the shift in my mindset. Having experienced success in the corporate world, defining "my" own criteria for recognition was the biggest challenge. I have also learnt to manage my down time and the uncertainty of work. I have taught myself to say “No” to opportunities that may be very appealing monetarily but does not fit into my paradigm. This change of track has allowed me to form a new relationship with myself which I cherish.
Have things gone according to your business plan?
Honestly there has not been a business plan. I have kept myself attuned to a broad work goal. Infact it has been liberating not to restrict the definition of success only in terms of financial goals. I experience fulfillment every time a client wants to work deeper with themselves or each time they cross a new threshold or when they find an inner treasure. I am happy with the number of self paying clients I have.
Word of mouth referrals and repeat clients have helped my work expand in the last few years.
What are the biggest challenges you've faced, thus far?
The sensitive nature of my work and client confidentiality makes it is very hard to find an optimum way to socialise the work. I also wish decision makers in organisations are open to new ways to grow & develop people which can open new doors for me.
What have the highlights of your professional journey been?
I have been able to work on many interesting and challenging large scale interventions with people as the focus. This includes leading in the context of change and enabling women leaders to expand their outlook to themselves. The open programs (personal growth labs) that I conduct are unique and have allowed individuals to rise above their circumstances and take responsibility for themselves. I have enjoyed seeing individuals who work with me in their 1-1 journey completely re -script their life and bring to fore a brand new personal narrative.
Could you give us a glimpse of your typical working day?
I typically work between 9 and 3 pm on 4 days of the week. I also work atleast 2-3 sundays in a month. The nature of my work is very emotionally intense, and I need to find time and space for self-care and invest in working with myself. I always plan my work keeping in mind the time schedule of my two growing kids.
Would you say that being a mom is advantageous or disadvantageous as far as starting a business is concerned?
In my work, which is all about experiencing a range of emotions, being a mother has helped me. In the last few years, no two days are exactly the same. A decade of motherhood has been a remarkable journey and has made me learn and unlearn many aspects of myself and has added to my sense of self.
What advice do you have for other young mothers who would like to become freelance consultants?
I feel everyone should be very clear about “why” they want to do what they want to do. Keep in perspective that this is a long journey with shifting destinations. The individual has to have keep focussing on making themselves accountable for their feelings, decisions and consequences. It is a niche space, and everyone may not fully understand what you do and letting that not effect you is vital. It is important to continue to nurture the work and enjoy it.
Thank you, Jaya for taking the time to talk to us. We wish you all the very best as you help others to maximize their inherent potential.
You can follow Jaya on Facebook here.
And you can read her blog - here.
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We'll see you there!