Mastermind leader and business trainer, Rupa Patil, on being an entrepreneur mentor and business coach for female entrepreneurs in the Internet Saathi programme.
Rupa Patil is a Certified Mastermind Professional, business trainer, coach, event planner, author, and podcast host. She has undergone training from the best business coaches, like Tony Robbins, T. Harv Eker, Russell Brunson, and Blair Singer.
In her 20+ years of corporate and entrepreneurial life, she has catered to clients like Amazon, Lenevo, L&T, Zuari Cement, Ola, Swiggy, Brigade and more. She has also served business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs from over 16 countries.
Rupa has appeared on multiple national and international digital media platforms and has founded an online global community of “Transformational Heart Leaders” where she continues to serve immense value, through her energy-filled live challenges, training, coaching and masterminds.
Tell us a little about your background and personal growth journey – where you grew up and studied.
I was born in Mumbai and studied in a school where teachers weren’t fond of kids from the lower-income groups, especially rebellious backbenchers like me.
Although I was fairly good at hockey and writing poetry, my school teachers declared me to be a “good for nothing” and for decades, I believed them.
Right after Grade 10, I decided to start earning to support my family. I am a big fan of my hard-working and loving mother and started selling financial plans with her throughout my summer vacations.
Thanks to my supportive parents, I moved out of Mumbai to complete my engineering studies and never stopped working. It was calming to sponsor my own education and learn exponentially outside of college.
Tell us a little about your career and business journey – what excited you most about it?
While I started working at 16, it was never with a victim mindset. I absolutely loved every single role that I played, whether it was waiting tables at restaurants, doing door-to-door book sales, booking yellow pages ads, or selling AMEX Cards.
Because in every role, I grew a little more while I was still studying. After graduation, I entered corporate life, worked my way up the ladder and enjoyed managing diverse teams.
Despite steady financial growth, corporate life wasn’t appealing to my soul. I knew that I was meant to do more, be more. In 2010, I ideated “Weekend Nuts,” a group for weekend events and getaways.
But my corporate schedule was growing even more. By then I was blessed with a baby. But my little one was left at daycare and by evenings I was still working from home.
My postpartum depression worsened and soon, I chose time freedom over financial, for my kid. From salaried, I turned self-employed. In the initial years, money wasn’t as great as paychecks, but being present with my kid was priceless, and working for my passion was a bonus.
Years later, after running this local business, I wanted to taste international markets. That when I entered the field of business training, coaching and my favourite – Masterminds. As an entrepreneur, creating something meaningful out of a mere idea is soul-soothing!
What are some of the unique initiatives driven by you? It can be a social impact initiative or connected to support a specific community.
Since 2010, Days of Weekend Nuts has been all about bringing smiles to the underprivileged. It is a not-for-profit event purely for community service.
Special thanks to my husband, Bernard, and extremely generous members who are now dear friends – Samuel Lawrence, Vipin Vinchurkar, Mithun Kumar, Pallavi Sharma, Kasi Viswanath, DJ Dominic, Damini Sharma, and my sister, Yogini Patil, to name a few.
At Weekend Nuts, the first priority is to Women-Based Businesses – right from photographers, caterers, artists, bakers, creative artisans to other home-based businesses.
Sometimes I need to go beyond the city limits to hire them and sometimes to a different state. But it is always an honour to support Women-Led Businesses.
I also run a Global Community called Transformational Heart Leaders, dedicated to help and support entrepreneurs for free. In that community, I offer continuous high-value training and resources, including a monthly Live Hot Seat Call (a mini-Mastermind Sampler).
As an early-stage entrepreneur, I did not have such support until I decided to invest my life savings. But I know, not everyone can afford that. That’s why I’m offering this service to deserving business owners aspiring entrepreneurs.
SHEROES is the largest women-only social network in the world – what kind of role do you see it playing in the women’s internet narrative?
Every time I talk to SHEROES Leaders and end-Users, I realize what a powerful platform it is, and that it makes every effort to go way beyond Social Networking.
Of course, SHEROES has successfully got women even from Rural India on a safe social media platform, but more importantly, it is providing the much-needed ecosystem to help these women grow – Financially, Emotionally, Professionally and Personally. That is priceless!
I am most impressed and humbled by the SHEROES alliance with Google for the Internet Saathi accelerator for Rural Women Entrepreneurs.
I haven’t seen any other accelerator achieve what they have achieved so far – thoughtful multi-lingual, high quality and live mentorship for the hard-working and deserving women entrepreneurs of rural India.
With the ease of internet access in Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns, this could be the most scalable, reliable, and economical method to support aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners, pan-India.
I feel that SHEROES can easily spearhead such initiatives at massive levels, not only for India but for other nations as well.
How does it feel to be a pioneer in someone’s success? What has been your experience as a business coach and trainer so far?
As a business coach and trainer, I’m passionate about real transformations in the lives and businesses of my clients. The Internet Saathi programme is a powerful opportunity to do just that and a lot more.
I get to mentor deserving rural women entrepreneurs who are driven by sheer willpower. Some of them are highly engaged in immersive learning, so they take almost instant action to grow themselves and their businesses.
I remember one session where I showed them the power of videos and gave them an easy-to-use template to shoot their first intro video. Within the next 24 hours, some of them shot an impressive intro video which was surprisingly their first one!
I am proud of them for stepping out of their comfort zones and feel extremely privileged to be of service to these incredible women entrepreneurs. I am sure they’ll be so far ahead in the next few months.
What are some of the unique challenges faced by the Internet Saathis you’re mentoring? Was there anything that took you by surprise?
Most of my mentees are from smaller towns and they are fully occupied with their day-to-day lives. One of their challenges is to show up at a given time for group coaching.
For some, it’s due to family commitments, but for those who show up and take action, we see them grow personally and professionally.
In my early years as an Entrepreneur, I craved a program like Internet Saathi. I believe some of the Saathis fail to recognize the importance of this, but again, it’s human nature that we pay attention in direct proportion to what we pay. 🙂
So, we remind them, from time to time, of the gravity and value of this program. Special kudos to the Buddies, like Manojba Gohil, who work relentlessly to motivate all our Saathis to show up and take action.
Do you have any interesting anecdotes you can share from your engagement with Internet Saathis?
One of our Internet Saathis, Sangita Bhatt from Vadodra, was particularly amused by the power of using digital technologies from day-to-day life to supercharge her Business.
This was right after our Clarity Session of Goal Setting and Long-Term Vision when I was showing them how to use WhatsApp for Business Growth.
As usual, at the end of the session, I tasked them with one action-oriented assignment to put the newly acquired knowledge in force.
Within a few days, she has created the compelling Long-Term Goal that drives her every day and recruited 8 to 10 new team members for growing her business through WhatsApp.
Plus, she has started to use other digital tools that she learned of, to aid her business, including Facebook and Canva.
Another powerful story is that of a young entrepreneur, Nikita Gohil, whose business growth has been praise-worthy. Plus, she is driven by a larger-than-life mission of eradicating poverty.
So, she is one of the most consistent Saathis to show up on each session and the first one to put her newly-gained knowledge into action. For the first time, she shot a beautiful powerful intro video in English, which was highly appreciated by everyone, even in my Global Community.
Its inspiring women leaders like these, who are creating a bright future for India.
What inspired you to agree to become a mentor for the programme?
One of my long-term goals and passion has been helping entrepreneurs, especially women entrepreneurs. While I’ve already helped people from over 16 countries so far, I was barely able to reach the entrepreneurs from the interior parts of my own country.
So when I was invited to join this powerful program as a Mentor, I was and still am truly humbled and grateful. (Gratitude to Merril Diniz). How many business owners get such opportunities to create massive impact transformations?
I believe that the world today needs more and more women leaders and who better than women entrepreneurs, to begin with?
This is the first online accelerator for rural micro-entrepreneurs. Are there any unique experiments you have tried to get them excited about leveraging digital tools?
At first, it wasn’t easy to get them excited about digital tools using the traditional high-level mentoring approach.
So even before I got to the tools and tactics, I started with hands-on visualizations, goal setting, mindset, support, and Heart-Centered Personal Connect. Once that was taken care of, I then moved on to dedicating one entire session to a single digital tool.
Sharing screens, walking them through the tool, using their own names to create sample listings and creatives, plus showing them real-life examples from my own businesses – that approach worked far better.
They found it more relevant and it excited them enough to try it by themselves in their assignments. Thus, they opened up to exploring new digital tools and even having fun with them
What do you love the most about coaching people and what are the limitations of a trainer?
As mentioned earlier, I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs by creating massive transformations – Personal and Professional. It’s sheer bliss to be part of their metamorphosis, their breakthroughs, their ‘Aha’ moments, their epiphanies, their growth, and their success stories.
As a Coach or a Trainer, I empty my heart to help them learn the best of the strategies and tactics to help them save time and money while growing their businesses.
I can give the best of every bit of knowledge, show them what, why, where how to do it. But finally, it’s they who need to actually DO what it takes and then continue that momentum by being in the right environment.
Would you like to share your experience with writing a book and also give us a brief introduction to your book?
Ups and downs are inseparable and unavoidable parts of human life, more so when you’re an entrepreneur. I say this from experience. I underwent an extremely unpleasant experience of losing not only money but also my faith in generosity.
This experience took a personal toll on me and my self-confidence, which started affecting my personal life as well as business. I underwent a process of self-healing to, not only re-instate my lost faith but also to go way beyond it.
It wasn’t an easy process, but once I did overcome that loss, I realized that there are so many others who are in pain, in shock, and they are at their lowest lows, struggling to regain their lost confidence, hope, and happiness.
That’s why I decided to write a short book to help them with everything that I knew of to go beyond my personal loss and excel. Hence my eBook, Beyond Personal Loss.
This easy-to-read eBook is dedicated to those who want to move beyond their personal loss. Consider this eBook as a practical guide to convert any personal loss into an unfair advantage.
To live a Freedom Lifestyle, by using these extremely simple to follow instructions, suggestions, and exercises. To make it more actionable, I’ve included with this eBook, a Bonus Freebie – a downloadable and reusable Personal Loss Audit Tool.
Describe your journey of being a Mastermind Leader so far?
In my early days of entrepreneurship, I struggled to find a support system but barely got any. I kept going from one networking group to another, one business conference to another. It did not make any real impact NS I certainly did not make any real connections.
So, like many solopreneurs and early-stage business owners I had to figure it all out by myself. Yes, I did find great mentors, trainers, coaches, and masterminds later on, but that was after I invested my life savings in it. There must be some other way – I thought.
When I first read about Masterminds, it seemed too good to be true. A group of like-minded individuals who support each other grow in a harmonious environment. Wow!
But it was happening all around the world, in smaller pockets. I wanted to learn more about it. That’s why I signed up with Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi. It was a great head start.
Soon after, I started hosting my own Mastermind. On my 1st Mastermind, only 2 people showed up but they were excited about the value they got during and after that mastermind.
One entrepreneur from the Philippines found a way to turn her offline business into online and got her first Sale … all this by just participating in my 90-minute Mastermind. It was a great proof of concept.
I chose to do immersive learning about Masterminds. And what better way to do that than Masterminding? So, I hosted my video Podcast that’s dedicated to Masterminds, where I interview Mastermind hosts from all over the globe.
I keep learning and improvising my own Masterminds to help my clients get massive results much faster. Today, I associated with other Global Entrepreneurial Networks as a Mastermind Host – to help their communities with the power of the Mastermind.
I personally believe that the only way to learn and grow faster, in the future is through collaborative, powerful, high-level Masterminds. And for that, I am excited to dedicate the next decade of my life to Masterminds!
Did you enjoy this interview on startup coaching and entrepreneur mentoring with Rupa Patil? Check out her business coaching and high-level mastermind programs and connect with her if you need a business coach for female entrepreneurs.
The Google Internet Saathi Programme is a mentorship program where female mentors train and educate rural women on the benefits of the Internet in their day-to-day life.