371. Turning a Potential Curse into a Blessing
She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in college. Instead of taking it as the death knell of her career, she wondered, might there be some similarities between bipolar peaks and valleys and the roller coaster ride most entrepreneurs experience?
Vasavi Kumar is often described as “your kick-in-the-pants guide on route to your desired destination.” She is a licensed social worker, special education teacher and a certified coach. Vasavi holds dual Masters degrees in Special Education from Hofstra University and Social Work from Columbia University. She’s a pro at attracting media and works with her clients to create and go after opportunities that are aligned with their brand values. She has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, was a regular on NBC’s Kansas City Live as the “Keepin’ It Real Guru.” She believes that with impeccable character, a work ethic, and unwavering values, you can do, be and have anything you want.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
As Vasavi was graduating from Columbia University with a $200,000 education in social work, base starting yearly salaries were $35,000. “This is why I never professionally went into the field of Social Work. Instead, I went into a coach’s training program, then started my own business in 2010. Now, I use my talents in social work and therapy, and my expertise in marketing, to help social workers, therapists and others in the helping professions get their message out there so they can earn more money. They deserve to be compensated well.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Already acquainted with the feeling of being an outsider, as the daughter of a family from India, growing up in a mostly white neighborhood on Long Island, New York, Vasavi was faced with another label at Boston College at age 20. “I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I think across the board, no matter where you go, mental illness has such a huge stigma. But I have the ability to take a challenge and use it to my advantage. So, I immersed myself in understanding more about bipolar disorder, the ups and downs, and how to harness those ups and downs.” In the peaks and valleys, she began to see similarities to the roller-coaster entrepreneurs often ride. “I did not let that diagnosis stop me from harnessing my full potential. I used what some would call a curse, and I turned it into my blessing.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
Vasavi never urges her clients to “quit your day job,” as some gurus advise. “If you choose to stay in your job, you are not a loser, you are not worthless! But what I will say is use all the time you have to pursue those talents. If you need to pay bills and put food on the table, that is your number one responsibility. After all, if you don’t have your basic needs met, your creative flow isn’t going to be jacked up. You get to choose whether you watch Netflix for three hours a night, or start pursuing your passions. You should be harnessing your God given gifts, researching and immersing yourself in finding how you can take your talent and bring it to life.”
Steps to Success from Vasavi Kumar
1. Don’t (necessarily) quit your day job. Cover your basic needs first.
2. Use your free time to immerse yourself in exploring your passion.
3. Never compromise your self-respect.
On Her Bookshelf
Conversations with God Trilogy: 3-book set, by Neale Donald Walsch
Connecting With Vasavi Kumar
Set a free 20-minute phone consultation with Vasavi after you watch her video on Focused Action: Vasavikumar.com/FocusedAction
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