I Follow My Light
By Nika Jazaee
Rachanaa Jain is the author of the hit selling book “Awake Your Dreams, Stop Procrastinating! Start Achieving!” She has dedicated her professional life to helping people to achieve their potential and boost their confidence. She came to the UK alone and has managed to build up her own company, and is today nominated for an award as a Radio Host. Rachanaa believes that the key to living is giving, so you can find her working in charities alongside her business. Rachanaa got her first lesson in business when her father lost his property in a fraud incident. In her interview she is telling us how she managed to build her successful life in a foreign country far away from home and why a woman can also be the bread earner of her house.
Rachanaa, where did you grow up and how was your childhood?
I was born into a middle class family in India. I was the eldest of three children, being blessed with a younger sister and brother. My childhood overall was pleasant, my parents always empowered me and wanted me to understand the value of hard work. I took the valuation seriously and worked hard. Academically I succeeded very well and I won numerous awards and certificates during my GCSE in sports, mono acting, science projects, dancing and painting. This led me to become student of the year 1999 due to winning the most awards throughout that year. However, I sometimes got bullied by some class mates because I came from a lower class and could not enjoy the same luxury as other kids, such as the possibility to buy lunch from outside, I brought my own food from home. This made me question the importance of money when I was only 9 years old. I went and asked my dad and he explained how money was earned and the amount of hard work that is put into it. But my father did more than just explaining, he gave me the first lesson in business. He gave me 5 Rupees and challenged me to turn my 5 Rupees into more. I accepted the challenge and ended up passing a jewellery shop the next day on my way to school, I went in and got myself two pairs of earrings for fifty Paisha each. I wore one of the earrings and went to school. I was very popular among the teachers as I was an excellent student so I straight away got their attention and I promoted the earrings to them. They really liked them and asked me about the price. I told them 2 Rupees for a pair, which they felt was a great deal and asked me to buy them 10 pairs, and voila my first profit ended at 200%.
I still remember it very clearly, when my father bought a second property in the hope to rent it out and use the money to invest in my sibling’s studies and mine.
From that young age I decided that I wanted to become an entrepreneur and make something out of my life. But life never falls short in lessons, and some might become more difficult than others. I still remember it very clearly, when my father bought a second property in the hope to rent it out and use the money to invest in my sibling’s studies and mine. He bought the house and brought the new tenants to show them their new property. Shortly after the police came and told my dad that the property does not belong to him, and my dad, who was shocked, showed them the paperwork he had. The police had three other people with the same paperwork documents but in their respective names. It turned out that the seller of the property had made fake copies of the paperwork and sold the property to four people at the same time and ran away with all the money. My dad lost all his money because the property was state owned. I was listening when my dad came home devastated and told my mother what had happened. My siblings were crying as they understood that they could no longer study in the college they wanted to because the prices are too high. In between the frustration I came up with an idea. I went to a local printing shop and asked them to design some leaflets for me. Then I asked my brother and sister to distribute those to all the local areas. Within two hours of distribution of the leaflets my home phone started ringing continuously and within two days I had over 80 students enrolled for my summer camp classes where I taught dancing, painting and other activities. I also used to predict my students future just for fun and a lot of it started coming true. I earned enough money to pay for my studies as well as helping my siblings with their school fees. So then I continued to study as well as run tuitions during school terms and run summer camp during holiday periods. I became independent and I also loved the fact that no one could taunt me about lack of finance. After Graduation, I wanted to study further and I came to the UK to do my Masters of Science in Financial Management with HRM from Middlesex University Business School.
You have a very fascinating story and a strong personality, who or what has inspired you the most to work so hard to achieve big things in life?
My biggest inspiration in my life is my mom. She has inspired me to become who I am today. Since childhood, every time I felt stuck with something she would come and help me find a way. She empowered me and uplifted me through the tough times in my life, especially when I was in the UK; I became very sad and lonely as I was missing my family. I still remember my Mom’s words “I am just a housewife looking after the family, I never fulfilled my dream of becoming an entrepreneur which I always wanted to be, due to the culture and society I was brought up in. I had to sacrifice my career as I got married. But my dear I don’t want you to be stuck like me, instead I want you to be strong and powerful. A woman, who will be independent, will empower and will be a role model to others. I want you to be as equal as or even better than a man.” These words got fixed in my head and I decided to fulfill my Mom’s dream. So every time, I think I am going to give up on something, my mom’s words buzz in my head and then I find a way or I just call her up and ask her what I should do in that situation. I get a different kind of strength after talking to my mom, which inspires me to achieve the goals that I set for myself. Furthermore, Doreen Virtue also influences me, on a daily basis when I wake up I watch her card drawn on Instagram, with a message that really inspires me to get up and take action. Also I am very passionate about what I do so I just wake up and plan my day ahead and take action.
A woman, who will be independent, will empower and will be a role model to others.
What has been the biggest challenge in your life and how did you overcome this challenge? Is there anything you do on an every day basis?
The biggest challenge I faced was going away from home and coming to the UK to study and establish my career. I missed my family a lot, being lonely and getting accustomed to the weather and culture was a big change for me. From the nest of my parents to living on my own in a different country was very difficult. I faced numerous challenges from finding jobs to studying to making new friends. I never cooked in India and coming here I had to cook for myself, doing all the tasks myself and being totally independent. Every time I was distressed I would either call my mom or do meditation to calm my mind and after that I used to think and write down different options I had and then decide which way to go. Sometimes I made the wrong decisions, as anyone else has but I learned quickly not to repeat my mistakes. Healing processes also helped me connect with my mind. I used Reiki healing to help myself back on track and move forward when I felt lost. Balancing work and personal life is a challenge I go through every day, sometimes I overwork and spend too little time for pleasure. I meditate and exercise regularly which helps me to deal with any of my challenges.
What does it mean to be a woman for you and what are your female strengths?
I come from a country where women are mostly meant to cook, clean and look after the family. Since childhood, I have observed that women were seen as mothers, sisters, aunts and housewives, but never as the bread earner for the house. So in Indian culture, boys were treated like an asset and girls like a liability. When a boy was born people would celebrate and be cheerful as they feel that the boy will keep the family tree growing and will earn money for the family, whereas the girl will leave one day as she will get married and they have to pay for her dowry. This really hurt me whilst growing up, because I felt that there is no equal treatment for men and women. So I decided that I want to become a businesswoman who will not only earn money but also look after the family. After having some success being independent, other young girls would come to me and ask for my advice and guidance. I loved helping them out and this inspired me to help more people, especially women, as I felt that I was doing something to break the perceptions of what a woman is supposed to do. Being a woman means a lot to me, as I believe that we are stronger than men and that’s why God has given us the power to give birth to children, God felt that women could bear the pain of childbirth and be able to get back to work again. I am very proud of being a woman and feel grateful that God made me a woman. Presently, you can see that more and more women are taking on leading roles, Theresa May has become the new UK Prime Minister, and Hilary Clinton might become the first female President of the United States. I am very pleased to be a part of this era where I can see many changes for women. My female strengths are multi-tasking, intuition, attention to details, calm under pressure, being empathetic and compassionate, be able to collaborate at the same time as be creative and I want to use my strengths to help, empower, educate and enlighten people to find their true potential and turn their dreams into reality. I see this as my mission.
Could you tell us more about the projects you are running today and what do you wish to achieve in your business career?
I have just completed a project of setting up my online store where I sell ‘Divine Jewelries’, which has been specially energised to achieve different goals in life. I am also working on setting up my healing centre at the London Holistic Centre where my clients can come for coaching, healings or readings. I am also working to hold events where I can speak on international scenes to inspire and empower people to achieve whatever they want in their lives. On top of all this I am also setting up my own radio station together with Radio Works World, where I have been nominated for an award in the most listened to Radio Host. But that is not all as I am also becoming an Ambassador for an Indian non-profitable organisation that helps youngsters to achieve their dreams by funding them. My aim is to take my business global and have a presence in the USA, India, Australia, Europe, Malaysia and Singapore, to create an impact on the world and leave a legacy behind.
I strongly believe in karma and that “The key to living is giving”. My book ‘Awake Your Dreams: Stop Procrastinating! Start Achieving!’ aims to inspire, empower and enlighten as many people as possible and use some of the proceeds to help others who can’t afford to buy it. Having been raised in India, I have seen so many people in poverty who did not have food to eat or clothes to wear. So I feel grateful that God has given me more and I should share it with the people who don’t have as much. So every time I go to India, I volunteer in Schools, Orphanages, Hospitals and Animal Sanctuary, where I feed the people with my own hands. So donating 5% from my profits to charity and helping others always makes me feel good and it gives me a different kind of fulfillment. Like Yin and Yang, Male and Female, Shiv and Shakti you should always have a balance of give and take, this is how you become successful and have a healthy business as well as a life.