To most, Raj Girn is a confident guru and media personality who has interviewed the likes of Kim Kardashian, Priyanka Chopra, Nicole Scherzinger, and more. Her executive events have featured star-studded guest lists as she continues to work with those who are looking for growth and transformation. Now, Raj is continuing her mission to help people turn their insecurities into success as she reaches out to younger audiences who can relate to her story.
I’d love to start from the beginning. You have an amazing story and I’m curious as to what made you want to become a confidence coach?
Raj: “I really wanted to create an encouraging community where people who have been through adversity could feel comfortable standing up for who they were. I’ve been through domestic abuse, an arranged marriage, divorce, being a single mom, and building a media company. It’s been a lot. There were times that I just wished I had someone who understood the ebbs and flows of it all. To be able to help those that are going through similar situations or even other struggles has been my motivation.”
Turning these hardships into success must have been extremely difficult at times. How did it influence your entrepreneurial journey?
Raj: “My adversities had a huge impact on building my media company. I founded it the year that I got divorced in 2002 so that in itself was a large milestone where an end to something brought with it a beginning to something else, that then, I didn’t realize would change my life. You see, up until this point, I was always looked after by others, whether it be my parents or my husband, so I went from not knowing how to write a check (seriously), to securing Jennifer Lopez for my second print magazine cover. One of my biggest assets has been my ability to take my insecurities and use them to push me through the trenches, especially the ones with quicksand in them, where I felt like I just kept sinking. Greater than the lack of confidence and imposter syndrome was my fear of failure, so with all the layers of being a woman, BIPOC, and single mom, that positioned me as a failure, everything changed when I decided that I was going to re-imagine the concept of failure to be an opportunity, not a period.”
Do you think that adversity can hinder success?
Raj: “Absolutely not. In fact, I think the opposite. Adversity can spark fear in you, but it’s up to you to decide on its narrative. When you use that fear to motivate you to fight for what you want, it can change everything as it did for me. All of a sudden, I started to accomplish things that most people wouldn’t even dream about, let alone do it. I realized that there was no such thing as impossible if you decide that the power of success was in your efforts, your belief, and your actions.”
As you reach out to those who may have faced, or currently be in a tough situation, what advice do you have to those who are not confident in themselves but want to build their own company?
Raj: “My entire career was born and cultivated out of acute insecurity. I faced limiting beliefs, sabotage, identity crisis, and a lot more through my journey. At the end of the day, you have to use that to your advantage. I used it to heal myself and accomplish what I have. When you find those healing aspects, it can be a huge pivot point to launch yourself to where you want to be, but you cannot do it by yourself. You have to seek assistance from people who have already gone through your path and come out the other side alive, sane and happy. I am a huge advocate of therapy, mentorship, and coaching. I believe that my courage to seek help IS the reason that I’ve been able to weather all storms. So, if you are steeped in the quicksand that I was referring to earlier, reach out your hand, because trust me, people want to help you, but they don’t know you need it if you don’t make take the first step. Life is a jigsaw puzzle. You have to be honest with yourself as to what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are, so you can see where in the jigsaw puzzle you fit and then what pieces are still missing. When you put this into a visual diagram like a jigsaw puzzle, it’s far easier to see where you need help, and then go find someone who has the solution to that. If you’re limited on funds and cannot hire someone, then solicit mentors, a business accelerator, or an incubator. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do it yourself. That’s the biggest mistake I find new business owners and those looking to pivot, or scale do. Don’t be that statistic, because you won’t beat it and the very few who have, is not the statistic you want to follow. Confidence is built and cultivated through ongoing learning and implementation, something you cannot do alone.”
Many young adults find themselves struggling to establish who they are and where they fit in the world. Do you have any key elements that can help young adults blossom and find their purpose?
Raj: “I’m a firm believer that no matter what we believe or do, we are all on the same journey to discover the meaning and purpose of life. By that, I’m talking about what we are willing to let in and let go of in order to progress. The difference between those who hit the mark and those who don’t is in the effort that is put into acquiring the appropriate knowledge & resources, actioning them, and holding ourselves accountable to the intended outcome.”
So, how do you advise one to reach that?
Raj: “The good news is, it’s a “rinse and repeat” formula. Believing in yourself and executing those beliefs lead to growth and transformation in life. In order to grow in any capacity, you must believe that it’s possible. Then, you must work with a person who’s already going in that direction or who is already where you want to be. It’s something that you need to be committed to. Growth only happens when you work towards it and you know it can happen. When you finally reach that growth, it’s important to share it and pay it forward. One can feel real empowerment when they use their gains to help someone else and it can motivate you to keep growing.”
Some people haven’t held a leadership position where they’ve helped uplift others. What are some characteristics that they can develop in order to become a great leader and help pay their successes forward?
Raj: “The most important characteristics to have are the ability to stay connected with everyone and the ability to connect. They sound similar, but they hold two very different meanings. It is the ability to immerse yourself and be connected with those who may need help, but also not being so immersed that you only see yourself as the “helper.” The ability to take a step back and connect people with others is a large part because maybe someone who needs help isn’t going in the direction you are in.”
Is this something that anyone can achieve, or does it take a special person to do this?
Raj: “These are both characteristics that can be learned and perfected no matter who you are, where you come from, or where you want to go. As long as you have the correct knowledge, action, and accountability formula that’s needed to sustain the growth and transformation once it’s achieved. This sustainable transformation is accessible to anyone who is ready to reprogram their mind, body, heart, and soul.”
You recently started The Open Chest Confidence Academy in early 2021. What is the academy’s main focus?
Raj: “The main focus is giving busy executives and entrepreneurs the knowledge, action, and accountability-based strategies they need to cultivate deep, meaningful relationships. Learning how to develop these types of sustainable relationships can lead to developing a fulfilled workforce, which, in turn, optimizes productivity and increases the bottom line.”
What type of programs can people expect from the academy?
Raj: “We work with companies and individuals through coaching, consulting, and mentoring services, courses, programs, masterminds, retreats, and events, in these areas: mindset & clarity, goal setting & planning, branding & image building, media, communications, public relations, marketing, leadership, advocacy, and community building, through a holistic (all-encompassing) approach.”
As people complete these, what can they expect to get out of them?
Raj: “I have perfected a proprietary system called The Open Chest Confidence Method, where the overarching focus is to empower people with knowledge, action, and accountability, through being open and honest with themselves. I believe that these create confidence. The Open Chest Confidence Academy is being built for growth and transformation, which can be harnessed through an open mind, a guru (someone who has already been where you want to go), and by doing the work. And then you pass the baton, so the cycle of growth continues, because what’s the point of doing all that work and then it not benefitting anyone beyond yourself. Pay it forward; it will change your life’s purpose to something that’s far greater than you ever thought possible. What’s better than that to look back on?”
For more information about Raj Girn and The Open Chest Academy, please visit the website.