Hello! My name is Sarupa Shah, a.k.a. The Soul Agent. I have been working for myself since I was in my teens really. It was on and off, part time working for myself and being part time employed. I stopped this pattern about eight years ago and jumped into being responsible for my working life and money, which was fabulous.
Most people don’t know the meaning of my name and often ask and I rarely share the answer but I will here. It means extra beautiful. My mum says as soon as she saw me she knew. I reckon I mind melded her as a new born!
Now tell us about your business. What’s it all about, how do you think and feel about it now, do you have staff and premises or work mainly alone at home? What aims and ambitions do you still have for your business?
I am an award-winning intuitive business coach and the owner and founder of The Soul Agency. The Soul Agency works with women entrepreneurs and leaders across the globe who want to put soul and spirit back into their life and the world. My big passion and power is to show women how to heal their relationship with money, discover their life purpose, get on with living the BIG dream and make a big impact in their life, their clients and the world.
I also have a big passion for writing. I blog on my own site, on Birds on the Blog, at Huffington Post and have several Kindle books. I am writing two print books too.
My ambitions for my business are really ambitions for me which are to get into politics. I’m not sure how as in whether that means I will enter politics directly or indirectly, however bringing soul and spirit back into politics via the route of money is my direction. As well as to have a number of international best sellers.
I am a big thinker, it wasn’t always this way but I am now and that is why I attract big thinking women as clients too.
I work from home or wherever I lay my laptop and I love that and I really make the most of my time in terms of creativity, space and having fun.
Recently my partner and I have decided to do some work together so this is a new aspect and something that I am really excited about as he is, apart from a Food Blogger and cook extraordinaire, an amazing sales guru and we want to support women to fall in love with selling and business and cut the nonsense that is often spouted about a feminine way and women will save the world only if they are from the west. While all these things may have some truth in them money, business and selling are neutral and you need to be good at them all to make an impact in your life, others’ lives and the world so time to get to it and find your way to be powerful. That is our message that we are working together on.
I’m really excited about this new journey and that I think is one of the greatest things about being self-employed; the ability to grow is always there and can happen in a single conversation even when you were not expecting it to.
What tips would you share with other female business owners and solopreneurs?
- Keep a schedule and plan your days and weeks, so you do the good stuff first.
- Just because you may work alone at home don’t think because it is in a ‘mental to-do-list’ you will get it done. You have to be organised and committed.
- Get out and network, make friends.
- Get a coach
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
What did you struggle with most in the start-up phase of your business?
I think I struggled a lot with confidence and self-belief. My earliest memories as a child are of fantasising about changing the world with some teaching based on love. This sounds weird but I was probably quite a weird child, well I probably wasn’t but I was spiritually gifted and used to see spirits in the room and thought it was normal and could read hands and knew things about people…so it was weird as in not the norm.
However when I stepped out to have a business doing what I love, I felt isolated, alone and wasn’t sure if I had anything to offer. I was also, despite having an MBA and a passion and desire to write, not able to understand how to market or how to create packages. I look back at what used to write in the beginning and it was pretty appallingly written.
I am sure a lot of people can relate to that, but it was how to bridge from where I was to where I really wanted to be and with the not being sure came the confusion, self-doubt and lack of success. Worst thing is when you are not earning but working hard, working hard and getting no client. It took a while for things to click. One thing I did, however, after I wallowed in self-pity and struggle, was to get a business coach. Since then I’ve never looked back, other than the odd duff one I ended up employing.
The pattern I realised I had was this absolute fear of failing and asking for help and ironically I perpetuated a sense of failure because I delayed getting help. It was a bit of a cross as, being so spiritually aware and intuitive and being able to give others what they needed to thrive, I was sacrificing me and creating a very dubious story for myself. Looking back it was great training for the work I am doing at the moment: helping women step out of illusion and into wild success.
What have you learned about yourself while working solo?
Gosh…so many good things. I think you will have to wait for my book. But one thing I will share is that I matter. That was a biggy!
Did you choose self-employment or did it choose you? Any regrets?
My ancestry is self employed so it was in my blood and I will be honest – I used to think working for someone was like the worst thing ever and people only did that because they were too asleep to think of anything else. OK I was a child when I thought that.
It is interesting though this year I learned that my Great Grandmother in India was the local spiritual woman whose advice was sought on business matters. Unusual that a women in her time in India was giving business advice. When I heard this from my Dad’s 90 year old aunt, I cried because I realised the gifts I have were given to me from her and I also felt so delighted that I am following the footsteps of my ancestors and doing the work that is in my blood. If I ever wanted confirmation that was it.
What one encouraging thought sums it all up?
It’s all good, it really is.If you can’t see it obviously, then find it, as it is there!
Which special project is getting your attention right now?
Heart Centered Close – how to sell with authenticity, soul, heart and success.
Do you feel lonely or isolated when working for yourself? How do you get your social needs met and what do you recommend to others in this regard?
My partner and I both work from home so sometimes it can even feel over crowded! But actually it is wonderful as we support each other. I also make a point of getting out to networking events – essential as well as great fun – and I work with 3 coaches so I don’t get business lonely. It does however require commitment as it is easy to isolate oneself when you work from home.
I do also have a very active personal social network and I am not going to kid myself, I love my work but there is more to me than work so I live life fully and not as a business women 24/7.
Find out more about Sarupa here: