VOGUE Magazine-celebrated author, wellness guru and owner of fitness studio Nalini Method, Rupa Mehta is a pioneer in the fitness industry with a powerful one-of-a kind story.
After graduating from NYU’s Stern School of Business and studying Pilates, Yoga and Lotte Berk, Mehta’s signature fitness class— Nalini Method– was born. Mehta developed a fun and challenging class that fuses the results and attention of a personal trainer session with the dynamic energy of a group atmosphere. Called “pint-sized guru” by Vogue Magazine and the “Rachel Ray of Fitness” by The New York Post, Mehta’s passion is to weave together Eastern and Western philosophies through dynamic, innovative and accessible approaches towards wellness.
Noted as “One of the all-time Best Workouts in New York City” by NBC and voted a “Top Workout” by Oprah and FITNESS Magazine, Nalini Method is a dynamic class fusing Pilates, aerobics, barre work, strength and resistance training, and yoga.
Building a business, creating something out of nothing, is one of the riskiest things a person can do. It becomes an investment of more than just finances; when you put your life into your passion and make it into a career, you enter into a Russian roulette with your own emotions. It’s not easy, but it is one of the most rewarding choices a person can make. Here are a few steps to propel your passion into a career.
1. Write A Mission Statement: When I was in my early twenties, passionate about business, health and wellness, I realized there was a huge hole in the fitness industry. People were (and still are) obsessed with weight, yet they weren’t being taught that weight management meant something far beyond a number on a scale. I developed a program that offered fitness classes as well as the opportunity to discover that emotional weight matters. My mission was simple: Get fit, physically and emotionally, because emotional heaviness can often make a person feel just as bad as those 10 extra pounds. With a clear mission statement, I was able to communicate the goals of my business efficiently, garnering respect and interest from peers and investors.
2. Share your business idea and plan with someone who is NOT in your field: After I began to plant the seeds of Nalini Method in my own head I knew I had to share it. I wanted to be able to spark the interest of people who weren’t in the fitness or business world. First on my list? Mom. I knew that if my conservative mom could understand the goals and need for my business others would too. I sat down with her and some friends and shared my idea. I was flooded with support, suggestions and information. Talking with friends and family also forced me to get clearer with what my goals were. I also never realized how many professionals I knew outside of the fitness world that had relationships with people that could help me. The connections made and support given was overwhelming.
3. Get the domain, the bank account and make your business real: This is one of the hardest steps in building a business. Once that spark has been in your head, you have your mission and you’ve sought the guidance of others, it’s time to put your passion to the test. Committing yourself to your business financially can seem scary but I promise it will inspire you to move quickly and fervently toward your goals.
4. Say thank you: I started at the very bottom. I rented studio space, handed out fliers on the streets of Manhattan and had a lot of “coffee dates” with mentors, picking their brains and getting ideas. Now, I have two studios, a small group of employees and will be publishing my second book next year. The people who believed in me made all of this possible. Saying thank you not only shows your respect for the people who have stuck by your side, it also grounds you, reminding you that you are a part of a larger machine, a community of people that grow and support each other. I truly value those initial relationships. I still maintain with the first clients who came to my studio as well as past colleagues and mentors.
5. Enjoy it: A few years ago I decided to launch my own non-profit, NaliniKIDS, a school program that aims to bring the same values of the Nalini Method into public schools and underserved communities in New York City. This was a financially debatable decision (to say the least!), but something inside of me knew it was a good one. I love working with children and can happily say that NaliniKIDS is my truest passion. Being able to train educators on the front lines of changing our future and making our youth healthier is something that fuels my personal life as well as Nalini Method. It may be corny, but sometimes allowing yourself to have fun in your business, even if it doesn’t make sense to others, keeps you going and will inspire you to accomplish more with your business long-term. .
If you are passionate about something, do it. Build a life around what makes you happy. Often times you’ll find that your passions coincide with the needs of others. In fully serving your heart you successfully serve your community and your world.
Allow yourself to feel nervous, to be wary, to wonder, to ask. These things can and will drive you to do better. Don’t fight the nerves and don’t let them overpower your talent. Breathe, let them in, allow them to live in you and see what they can make you do. Get inspired and write your mission. Lock in that domain name and thank the people who help you along the way and of course, don’t forget to enjoy the ride!
Interested in more tips on Social Entrepreneurship? Join us at….
Thursday, April 9, 5:00 – 7:00PM | Leslie eLab
Food and refreshments will be served Learn how this panel of social entrepreneurs created social change and made an impact on a community through business innovation. Join us at the Leslie eLab to discuss specific career opportunities and advice for social entrepreneurs.