In this week's Puru exclusive we have with us the very talented Sejal Bhatnagar, founder and CEO of Review Academy. She is currently studying at Bennett University, Times of India University and will be graduate in the year 2021 with an honours degree in marketing and finance. She's the face of young entrepreneurs in India. With her passion for creating business models from small great ideas, she is also an avid reader and a self-care enthusiast. Here, she talks about how she manages her priorities whilst taking time out for herself.
What do your mornings look like?
My mornings are pretty hectic because I usually wake up to a ton of messages. I have a lot of responsibilities from my college as well as my business. There are things to approve, drafts to prepare and people to meet. So, I usually start my morning stuck to my gadgets and a cup of Nescafe.
A book/movie/person that influenced your view of self-nourishment or self-care.
I like reading a lot of books and I know for a fact anyone who ventures into the concept of entrepreneurship is an avid reader, who has the hunger for knowledge. The book that inspired me to view my self-nourishment was Siddhartha written by Herman Hesse.
What do you consider to be the single most important change you’ve made to your routine or lifestyle in terms of wellness?
The most significant change that I have made in terms of my routine would be going on a walk and completing my goal of 10,000 steps. This little goal gives me the motivation and the strength to complete the other tasks as hand and before I know it, I would be done with my responsibilities. This little change not only keeps me active but also gives me space and time to think and centre myself with the universe.
What do you think are some of the most common misconceptions about entrepreneurship?
I think some of the most common misconceptions about entrepreneurship is that all ideas will fail or that you need to have everything planned out beforehand to succeed. All journeys start from an Idea, that is it and then you work towards to achieve. Yes, you will make mistakes and yes you will fail but you need to have that vision from which you started and that will help you succeed. A classic example here would be off Micromax, a dream turned into a reality that became of the best companies in the country. They failed but they are back in the market again.
What part of your self-care routine is most important to you? And is there one that is vital to you even when you’re having the worst day?
I feel a warm shower is a very important part of my self-care routine. It relaxes my muscles, calms me down and brings me peace. I have always been attached to the water element. It gives me to power both in mind and heart. As an aquarian by sign, it feels right to me and it very vital to my daily routine.
How do you deal with periods characterized by a lack of inspiration or procrastination?
Periods of lack of inspiration and procrastination often set in but when this happens I take out a pen and paper and list down all the activities. When I see all of them together it scares me, so I switch to procrastination but to tackle this, I have now started writing the only task at a time so, I do not get overwhelmed and at my own pace complete everything.
Lack of inspiration is taken care of by the walks I just mentioned. When you are striving to achieve your dream there are days where you get a burst of ideas that you cannot even keep a track off. On the other hand, you cannot imagine anything. When this happens I usually let nature take care of it. I calm down and meditate and before I know it I am back on the track!
Do you find exercise to be pleasurable, torturous or perhaps a little of both? How do you put yourself in the right mindset to keep up with it?
I think they are a little bit of both. To be fair, when we start including exercises in our daily routine, it can be torturous. However, with dedication and determination, you fall in love with the process and it becomes pleasurable. The key is to be consistent.
Is imposter syndrome real? How do you deal with it?
Yes, impostor syndrome is real because whenever you start a new thing every time you feel that you are not good enough or capable enough. Most importantly you feel you are not qualified enough. When I started my journey of entrepreneurship I felt like this all the time but the only thing that kept me going was that this is my Idea and my venture, nobody else knows this better than me. That gave me the strength to move ahead and in a manner deal with it. I also had the support of my boyfriend who I have been dating over 5 years. He holds my hand and says, this is your dream, and nobody can carry it and make it successful as you can!
How important is self-care to you? Especially when you are your boss.
The idea of self-care is different for everyone. For me, self-care could be devoting myself into my business because it calms me down knowing everything is working the way I want it to. On the other hand, for you, self-care can be about going for a swim or reading a book. So, when I am my boss I feel that the self-care I need does not happen that often Why? Because since you are running the show, everything boils down to you and your decisions and approvals. You have this constant fear of letting people down especially your customers. When you are your boss you want everything to be perfect that you lose sight of yourself.
So, to me, self-care is now becoming important because I have realised that even though my business is struggling that does not mean that I have to too. I am a human and I deserve a break.!
Do you practice any consistent routines to avoid the stress of work?
Nothing as such, I love the nature of stress because it drives me and keeps me occupied at times too. So, I don’t often try to get away or practise a fixed routine. I let the day pan out for itself and then I make my way around this. When I do this it also helps me be more centred because then I do not have to suffer the disappointment of something not happening. Expectations can be dangerous.
And a last, fun one: what are your three favourite TV/web series to unwind on a weekend?
Anime is my first: FMA and FMA Brotherhood. Then comes series like How I met your mother, Rick and Morty, the big band theory and friends. Lastly, small YouTube web series. Recently I got hooked on please find attached and it was as real as it gets.