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Varsha Chettiar from Lemon Coaching

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Tell us a bit about YOU and your family

I’m a mommy to a gorgeous little girl who is almost two, married to a slightly crazy but loveable man and we have two naughty Labradors. I am based in the Westville area and am born and raised in Durban.

I’ve attended Crawford College Durban, studied at UKZN and am now completing my Diploma in Youth Development through UNISA. In 2013 I became a certified NLP Practitioner and life Coach.

I’ve had the opportunity to work in the marketing, event and HR industry, specifically in learning and development. But have found my true calling working with moms and families to help create happy, encouraging and positive homes.

As a person I would describe myself as an out of the box thinker and someone who appreciates the uniqueness life has to offer. I enjoy a good laugh, a good book and a good adventure. My hobbies include reading, dancing, spending time with my family and traveling.

What is the name of your company and when did you start your business?

Lemonade Coaching is the name of my company…. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade! I started the business in January this year, but it has been in the planning and development stages for a number of months. I want to help others create an extraordinary life for themselves.

What inspired you to start your own business?

That’s an easy question – my little girl is the first reason. We’ve experienced quite a few interesting challenges after we’ve had her, both emotionally and medically. She is an amazing little girl – so full of energy and curiosity. She has motivated me to become someone she can look up to. I want her to know that when she grows up she can be a mom, an entrepreneur, an adventurer and someone who can make a difference in the world.

The second reason is that I have the rare opportunity to really help other parents and families facing varying challenges. Not everyone may face the same situations as we did, but there are plenty of challenges and issues all mums face. Most of it is dealing with the new emotions and situations we face when we have kids. The effect on our marriages, on how we bring up our kids and also the dramatic changes it brings to our lives on a very personal level.

What are the challenges you face or have faced being a working Mom and how have you overcome them?

I think the biggest challenge has been giving 100% to my business, my family, my studies and to myself and striking that balance in between. Being disciplined enough to shut down my iPad or phone and say family time is family time and give my loved ones my full attention, has been easier said than done. It’s very tempting to take that one call or reply to that one email, but once you start it’s difficult to stop. So drawing lines has been very important. And although it’s tough to do the whole mom thing, then be a wife, then when everyone is asleep, be a business woman. I think it’s even tougher for most momtrepreneurs to find those few minutes a day just for themselves. So my biggest challenges have been the balancing act of the above and being disciplined around my scheduled times for family and business.

What is the hardest part or have been some of your struggles starting your own business?

The most difficult thing is fear. Fear of failing, fear of going wrong or making a decision that’s not right for your business, but mostly it’s fear of succeeding. I think the fear of potentially being successful can be more overwhelming because it means not only do I have the potential to do something, it also means that I have the responsibility towards that potential and the possibility to make it happen and make my dreams come true. It’s both an exciting and terrifying thought in one. I think once you get past your own doubts and fears, any momtrepreneur will be unstoppable.

How do you balance your business and your family?

By praying to God to put one or two more hours in the day! Ha!
My husband and I have an understanding that there are certain times during the week and weekend that we allocate specifically for family time or just time as a couple, and certain times allocated for us to get some work done. So no cellphones, no iPads or iwatches or I-anything during family time. It allows us to spend quality time with our little one and with each other. But if any urgent or important work comes up, we let the other know and plan accordingly. So if I’ve got clients I need to respond to or call back, he understands and I’ve got some time to do what I need to. I’m also studying at the moment so while everyone is at work and school I give myself a few hours a week to do assignments, write notes and do some studying. It’s a challenging juggling act, but well worth it. It’s also much easier when you have a supportive and understanding spouse. I think that’s key in any juggling act one has to do.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I don’t think I would do anything differently. There’s a saying that goes something along the lines of, you are exactly where you are meant to be. So I truly believe what’s happened over the last few years, working in learning and development, having my baba, staying home with her and going back to my studies has just helped get me to the point where I’m at now. I have to say it’s a lovely and exciting point to be at…. So yes I guess I would do everything all over again. I think the only difference but would to trust myself more.

What advice can you give other Moms out there who are starting a new business?

Do it. Live your dreams. When you are happy and fulfilled as a person, you’ll see an amazing change in who you are as a wife and mother as well. Don’t put your dreams on hold because honestly there will never be a right time to do something. There will be failures. There will be people who don’t believe in you. There will be times you want to hide under your dining room table with a bottle of wine and hope no one finds you. But those times and people will be few and far between. You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve if you put your heart and soul into something. Live your dream, not just your life.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us that I may have missed?

I’m not the biggest Oprah Winfrey fan, but I found this quote quite apt when thinking about how I could make a difference and help create extraordinary lives for others.

I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.
– Oprah Winfrey

The key to being successful is to do what makes you happy. Not what you think will make you rich, or what will sound good when introducing yourself to others. Dig deep within you, find what you are passionate about and make it something of your own.

If other Moms would like to keep in touch, how can they contact you?

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