Geeta is an Indian born in an ex-colony Malawi and I came to school in England in her late teens and never when home!
She spent over a decade working as a corporate lawyer working in London, Moscow and Nairobi and gave it up when her son was ill. She now have 5 kids (including 2 steps) and is surrounded by teenagers.
Geeta is now the CEO of Nosh Detox which she founded in 2007 in beta version and went full time there in 2008 January.
What inspired you to start a business?
I really had no intention of setting one up to be honest. I was a corporate lawyer. But then when I got divorced and I had 3 small children under the age of 7 that I had to support and put through life and school I had to make some hard decisions. My ultimate decision was that I wanted to be able to spend time with them because my son had been so ill he’d spent nearly 2 years in hospital. He had severe allergies and anaphylaxis and I was worried I would go to work and by some tragic feeding error he’d end up dead. So I decided to stay at home. Then I wondered how to pay for everything as I received no financial support at all.
What I knew to do was to help people get strong and healthy as I had cured my son of eczema and asthma. At about the same time, my best friend came to me and was moaning about being fat. I was really dismissive about it as a problem and wrote up a list for her to follow. She lost all the extra weight within weeks and came to me saying ‘you know, people would pay you for this!’. The rest is history.
What is the greatest challenge and the greatest reward in being your own boss?
The biggest challenge has been in believing in myself and my decisions. Especially when they go against perceived wisdom. Nosh Detox works in the space of Wellness which is a wide area encompassing ‘I feel amazing’ all the way to ‘I feel terrible but my Dr has no idea as I’m no sick!’ we’ve literally fought to create programmes in the face of huge scepticism, criticism and sometimes abuse. (youtube has a great BBC clip of me being yelled at for talking about detoxing)
The greatest reward has been to follow my gut belief in how to make people feel better. And to then succeed in wonderful amazing transformations. I love love love when you show someone the power they have in their own hands and mind to feel better, and how quickly they can get there.
What motivational tips can you give to our members about goal setting and managing both successes and failures?
- Decide an outrageous goal for the next 3 years. (I mean really, really outrageous, so you are embarrassed to admit it)
- Reverse engineer it to today and use that as your plan.
- Measure everything all the time. Then use that to tweak and improve.
- There is no such thing as failure. Expect to launch everything in beta so you can change and make it better. What’s failure got to do with it?
- Also, meditate daily. It’s the best way to succeed.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a business owner?
OMG how long do you have? As a lawyer I literally couldn’t add up. So the most painful part has been to learn numbers, margins, profit, loss and how to understand the financials in my business. Still working on it……. and yeah, cashflow is a total pain.
How have you benefited from mentoring or coaching?
I get coaching all the time. The one time I didn’t for about 6 months my business really suffered. I decide my goal for the year, work out who’s done it before, and stalk them until they agree to coach/mentor me.
I actually love this so much as a method of personal growth I qualified as a Health Coach last year and offer it myself to my clients. We see amazing results.
What advice can you give about the benefits of networking?
I don’t know really. I find it so hard to go into a room full of people I don’t know and just start talking to them. I feel awkward, weird and like I am boring everyone around me. So I would rather pull out my nails than go to a networking event. Having said that I spend a large portion of my life going to meet people for no reason at all. I will meet people who need help, people I am recommended to meet, people who just look interesting, or who sound interesting.
Is that networking? If so, I do it all the time and it’s a fabulous way to learn things, grow your horizons, get different perspectives.
What are your tips for scaling a business and how do you plan for and manage growth?
I suppose I would call it a process of ‘managed risk’. I’m an Entrepreneur to I have a natural affinity to bright, shiny objects. I try to resist that all the way. Having said that if I think we need to do something and it feels right I will try to find a way.
The problem is that its not a linear process, its more a grow, integrate, grow, worry, grow integrate, slow down, worry, integrate kind of process. Then Rinse, Repeat.
I found that growth is more successful when I reverse engineer to my ultimate plan. Duh.
I suppose the best tip is to decide what kind of business you want to run. I want to run a profitable business so I focus my growth accordingly and bore my advisers and coach rigid all along the way.
We opened Nosh Detox USA in Texas last year so we are targeting growth based on each territory.
What does the future hold for you?
Well I am really very ambitious and I have a lot I want to do. I am really interested in Thought Leadership in the Wellness arena so I foresee a lot more coaching in the business. And an IPO sounds interesting too.
I think the future will hold a lot more growth, fun, joy and happiness along the way.
You can read more of our Inspirational Female Entrepreneur profiles here.