Welcome to the Steve Jobs based Join Up Dots Free Podcast Interview with Bhavani Esapathi
To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:
Introducing Bhavani Esapathi
Bhavani Esapathi is todays guest, joining us on the Join Up Dots free podcast interview.
She is a lady who quite openly states that she has always done things unconventionally starting from not going to school as a child, to still holding the record of not having a “proper job” even once.
But don’t think that this is a tale about a lady who simply doesn’t want to work.
No this is a tale about a lady, who has been forced to live her life in a very specific way to due to health issues that have affected her since a small girl.
At the age of 16 she lost one of her lungs, and was diagnosed with Crohns Disease coupled with a form of rheumatoid arthritis and spondylitis.
Essentially, even if she wanted to hold down a full time job, then her body would not allow her to do so, which allowed her first steps on the path she is on today to start to appear before her
Bhavani Esapathi asked herself “How many others are out there thinking there is no better way to live or that they can’t follow their passions due to illness or a physical condition?
How The Dots Joined Up For Bhavani
As she says “It all made sense to me, the dots joined up on my unconventional upbringing that I could live in London, one of the most expensive cities in the world by leveraging my unconventional thinking.
She has now created a community where other such inspirational people could share their stories and bring together a new understanding of what it means to live with a chronic condition at Chronically Driven.
So how has she taken this idea and turned it into income?
And does she now see her illnesses as a hindrance or a blessing that has led her to where she wants to be?
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Bhavani Esapathi
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Bhavani Esapathi such as:
How if you are looking for excuses not to do something, then there is a strong possibility that you don’t actually want to be doing that thing anyway.
Why she doesn’t ever want to seem like a remarkable and special person, no matter what challenges she has overcome in her life.
How she has done a lot of work looking at her “Why” and what she needs to do to prove to herself everyday that she is capable of achieving the “Why” in life.
How she spent a lot of time wondering why she was being asked to be in an office for eight hours a day, and where the rules book that said that had to be the case.
Why the hardest thing for any entrepreneur is acknowledging that the world at large need to change their mind-set for you to truly develop the passion that you have.
How To Connect With Bhavani Esapathi
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Full Transcription Of Bhavani Esapathi
David Ralph [0:00]
Today’s show is brought to you by podcast is mastery.com, the premier online community teaching you to podcast like a pro. Check us out now at podcasters mastery.com.
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:38]
Yes, hello there everybody. This is David Ralph. So this must mean that you’re listening to Join Up Dots. I hope it is otherwise I don’t know where I’m actually sitting recording at the moment. But this is Episode 377. And this is UK day. Yeah. Very often we get we get a lot of Americans as I always say, but we’ve got we’ve got a lady who may not have been born in the United Kingdom. I will tell on that, because I don’t actually know the answer to that, but she’s certainly living in the UK at the moment. And she is a lady who quite openly states that she’s always done things unconventionally, starting from not going to school as a child is still holding the record of not having a proper job even once. Don’t let my kids hear that. But don’t think that this is a tale about a lady who simply doesn’t want to work. Now this is a tale about a lady who’s been forced to live her life in a very specific way due to health issues that have affected her since a small girl. At the age of 16. She lost one of her lungs, and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease coupled with a form of rheumatoid arthritis and spondylitis. Essentially, even if she wanted to hold down a full time job and her body would not allow her to do so which allowed her first steps on the path she is on today. And those dots really started to appear before her like magic really. She asked herself how many others out there thinking there is no better way to live or that they can’t follow their passions due to illness or a physical conditions. Good question. She says it all made sense to me the dots joined up in my unconventional upbringing that I could live in London one of the most expensive cities in the world. By leveraging my unconventional thinking. She’s now created a community where other such inspirational people could share their stories and bring together a new understanding of what it means to live with a chronic condition at chronically driven So how has she taken this idea and turned it into income? That is a good question. And does she say now about her illness is although a hindrance or actually a blessing that’s led her to where she wants to be? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Bhavani Esapathi. How are you Bhavani?
Bhavani Esapathi. [2:39]
Hi, David. I’m well Thank you. That was really good. I was just like sakya wondering, oh my god, I sound great.
David Ralph [2:47]
You are great. And you’ve got you’ve got a name. That would be amazing in Scrabble, wouldn’t it? It’s got literally every, every letter you would want in the dictionary in your name.
Bhavani Esapathi. [2:57]
My name is actually much longer than that. doesn’t even fit in the passport but that’s just like the first and the last set of my name that I use for like a fishy purposes
David Ralph [3:07]
could give us a whole lot.
Bhavani Esapathi. [3:09]
Oh wow. Okay you need to try to save this with me if I do and so it’s Bhavani sokrati Satya Ranjan, Roger.
David Ralph [3:18]
Well, okay, I’ve got the first two because I’ve been practising do the last.
Bhavani Esapathi. [3:22]
It’s Bonnie salty. salty. Ranjan, Raji.
David Ralph [3:25]
Right But Bonnie so panty duty dankey jiki ranky.
Bhavani Esapathi. [3:32]
That sounds about right as how all my friends say upset. That’s fine. Well, good.
David Ralph [3:37]
Then we’re van. We’re friends, man. So in the introduction, I was talking about not being sure whether you was actually born in this country. Are you a UK resident? Are you somebody that was born in this country? How does it all come about?
Bhavani Esapathi. [3:49]
No, no, no. I’ve been here about four years now. So Excuse me. So I was born and raised in India.
David Ralph [4:00]
I’m in India,
Bhavani Esapathi. [4:01]
in southern India, Bangalore. It’s a cities not too crowded, but it’s very multicultural.
David Ralph [4:09]
I know quite a lot of people that have gone and helped the industry. So I started blossom in Bangalore and it is a thriving metropolis, isn’t it? When when they showed me pictures, it wasn’t what I was quite expecting. But it seemed to be very big office blocks with like shantytowns almost next door to them. It was it was a it was a strange kind of mix. Really?
Bhavani Esapathi. [4:33]
Yeah. Yeah. Because it’s, it’s, well, one of the really thriving economies. So as a result, we’ve got lots of industries and the people that are considerably I would probably say a better diversity of life. I don’t want to say quality, but they’re just people from all over the world really. So
David Ralph [4:58]
that’s interested me I’m gonna jump into that. Diversity online What does that mean?
Bhavani Esapathi. [5:03]
It means that you get to experience different things because I don’t quite understand I’d rather I don’t relate to quality of life which is like it you know, you earn a certain income or you live a certain way and therefore you’re happy but I think it’s diversity that makes us happy. So I mean, I mean, I think anyone could take this on board if you think about oh when they you delighted when were you feeling good about yourself was when something unexpected and new happened? So you know, at the core of it is encountering new experiences, new people, and exciting new conversations that I think make for an exciting life really, is I
David Ralph [5:49]
agree with you and I so I am now going to say about I am living a diverse lifestyle because I love this spontaneity of it. But so many people out there by like the routine of Isa, are we different? Or is it just but they haven’t seen the promised land somehow?
Bhavani Esapathi. [6:06]
I think the haven’t experienced and there’s quite a lot about people who often have preconceived notion about things. And I mean, I get this all the time where someone says, I really wish I could, you know, make a living after drawing, or I really wish I could go here or that and I kind of, and I say, Oh, well, why didn’t he do that? What? You know, I can’t because because I had this job and this sort I need to do and, but when you actually dig down to it, they haven’t really even taken step one. They haven’t even tried to see if it’s possible or not. And I only accept answers that say, Oh, I can’t, because I tried to look into it. And these were my problems and there’s a way to move forward to see how we can always Come as problems. And I think we’re kind of forced to say, these are the list of things you can’t do. And if you want a good life comes back to the quality of life, which is, you know, have the set conditions of earning a certain salary and living in a certain area, owning the kind of a house and all of these tick boxes that you need to take, and you’ll have a good life. So I think when someone tells you, oh, this is equal to good, and this is what you want, I guess it’s easier not to question. I don’t think people necessarily are happy doing that, but it’s just easier to go along with it rather than question it and say, Oh, you know, maybe there is another way. Does that make sense?
David Ralph [7:45]
It makes total sense. Yeah. And as you’re saying, Yeah, I was thinking about myself because I think I’m a bit of a hypocrite, to be honest. Because on one side of the fence, I agree with you totally. And then on the other side of the fence is like one of my long term friends said, Oh, come he never leaves him. Brighton. And if nobody knows Brighton, it’s a lovely seaside town in in England. And it’s a great place to go. And there’s loads of clubs and pubs and stuff. And you go down there and you have a few beers. And then you walk along the seafront and these lovely and he said to me, I’ll come down, come down for a few days. And I said to him, I can’t make you know, it’s difficult. I got this to do, I’ve got that to do. And as she was saying it, I was thinking, actually, what was stopping me? Why am I doing this show saying to people, come on, you can do anything you want. But still I have that a bit of that mindset of, it’s easier to say no, somehow so I understand both sides about
Bhavani Esapathi. [8:36]
Yeah, I think I’ve kind of realised I was actually having a conversation about something similar with with a friend of mine actually going over how do I know when I’m making excuses and how do I know when I’m actually preventing myself from growing as a person because that’s something I think about quite often because having always been Taking an unconventional path. I know that things can be done differently but but then it’s also easy to get lazy about developing one of the hardest things for me was to convince myself that I can be lazy and it’s I need to figure out when I’m making excuses and this friend of mine I was having this conversation with said, Well, if you if you looking for excuses, that possibly means you don’t want to do it, but it’s, it’s probably socially not acceptable to say, I don’t want to do something. I mean, you know, that could be going travelling with the friend. It’s not that you don’t like that friend, but perhaps you think the other things that you that you need to give more of your attention to. I
David Ralph [9:47]
kind of agree with your friend but if you’re making excuses, you don’t want to do it. But then there’s certain things I’d love to do, but I’m still making excuses why I can’t do it. So now actually, I don’t agree with Your friend, I think your friend is talking rubbish. And I can say that because I’m the host of this show,
Bhavani Esapathi. [10:04]
I will tell him that I’ll make him listen to this and tell him that
David Ralph [10:09]
I’m gonna get terrible reviews now from your friend Don, I think they’re gonna go they’re gonna bring me to my knees.
Bhavani Esapathi. [10:15]
Now but that’s something I have been thinking about quite a lot really and and I listened to almost anyone and seems that the if that applies to my life, because as you mentioned in the intro with chronically driven, what I’m telling people is that they can still follow their passion, pursue what they’re interested in, despite having any kind of debilitating illnesses. And just about three weeks ago, I was switched on to a much more harsher medication, which basically meant that I kind of spent a week literally at home not doing anything and it is about towards the end of the week, and I was like, This feels terrible. I feel awful. Never gonna do anything. And then it kind of hit me like it did to you, as you’re telling your story about. And I was like, well, this is exactly what I told people not to do. And now I’m doing the same thing. And, and that’s when I have to find a way around it that thing. Okay, what would I tell myself if I was someone else? And you know, try to get yourself away from yourself and think what what would I be telling this if this was person a rather than myself?
David Ralph [11:31]
Well if we take you back in time, because that’s what Join Up Dots is all about. Yes. You obviously had some huge issues, and you’ve got some huge issues in your life. And how did the losing the lung come about because when when I was reading it, I thought, well, you can get Crohn’s disease reasonably easy. I know quite a few people that have got that and they learn how to sort of deal with it through medication and different things, but losing a lung back that’s why How did that come about? Because I can’t quite grasp how you lost alone?
Bhavani Esapathi. [12:04]
Yes, um, well, I was, I’ve always been an astrometric as a side note, but that seems much more easier to deal with now in, you know, in in a larger perspective. So, when I was I think I was about 16 Yes, I was 16 and people don’t quite know yet. And when I say people, I mean even the doctors I was admitted into the hospital because what was taught as a really bad asthma attack and they figure they finally figured out that one of my lungs was filled getting filled with all sorts of fluids and air and whatnot. So and the only way to prevent it was to cut it out, basically. So, so yeah, that happened when I was 16. I was in the hospital over my birthday or Christmas or New Year’s. So I was in the hospital for a close to a year, I think eight or nine months. So that was the medical reasons for it. And yeah, I’m told people do live with just one lung but it’s often when they’re born or when they’re very young. So they’re quite Yeah, that’s the kind of learn to, you know, that becomes normal for them. But it was slightly different to me and even now I can’t I never run that something I don’t do full stop, and I can’t climb up the stairs really quickly. And that those are the things that when it when I tell people for the first time they go, Oh my god, that must feel awful. And I’m like, No, but when was the last time you had to, you know, unless you were, I don’t know, running away from something awful or did something awful that you had to run away from someone. Like when was the last time you had to like run up a flight of stairs?
David Ralph [13:55]
stronger because it’s just working on its own?
Bhavani Esapathi. [14:00]
I’ve been told the desk compensate and I feel fairly normal except as you can tell, probably have a persistent cough that that can’t really be killed. And I do get up if this is a funny one. If anyone tickles me that’s probably a trip to the ICU because I caught LA for long periods of time
David Ralph [14:27]
to tickle you now I in a bizarre way, I don’t want to send you into hospital but I would just want to see what happens.
Bhavani Esapathi. [14:34]
Yeah, that’s probably a good thing. You know, if any of your friends are trying to go like I will go to the hospital don’t do that. So. So yeah, I can’t laugh really loud for a long time and I still choke on water. Don’t ask me how that happens. It happens fairly regularly. So I’m here. They’re all these little things that I think make it interesting but the same Time I have gotten off matter for the longest time actually my lungs had been fairly good. So I think was last Christmas that I did spend it in the hospital and and that’s when I realised that kind of had taken things for granted and growing up being incredibly dramatic To me it kind of propelled me to cut forced me into doing something that mattered every single second because I don’t know if you if you know if you ever felt this way but when you’re an asthmatic you know you’re doing everything normal but you literally cannot breathe and you kind of realise the importance of every moment and every breath and and and to me I you know having spent the Christmas in hospital just last year a few months ago that was kind of timely to me to call you know, for knock me back into life and to make me take Charge of things that take things most seriously.
David Ralph [16:02]
I can I can see this totally. And I think, unfortunately in life, we do need those. Those pain points don’t wait to make a stop moving. Now I had one in my life, nothing like yours, so I won’t even bring it up in conversation. But it certainly was something that I had to move away from to start building my life. Did you think that? Generally that is how it’s got to occur. Do you think if somebody is out there listening to this, and they’re doing a job that is all right, not too bad, they could be in paid quite well to go there. They get their five weeks holiday. Do you think that ultimately they’re going to be listening to this same show in a year’s time still in that same position? still having those those pint t drinks when they are I wish I could be doing this? I wish I could be doing that. Do I need to be pushing themselves away from some kind of pain?
Bhavani Esapathi. [16:53]
And I think that there are two ways either something happens to you. That’s right. distressing so you have to find another way to mentally cope with it. Or there’s the other side of things where, you know, you come across an idea so amazing that, that you just need to do something about it and that you can no longer be in that nine to five job you can no longer be satisfied with just that, you know, for four or five weeks have a few weeks long holidays you get and you you crave for something more. And if you look at some of you know, people who’ve made remarkable changes to the world it is either one or the other either they encounter an idea that they just have to work on that they have to implement and bring to life or they go through something and it can be a very lengthy I’m not saying everyone needs to have a health problem like you said it your that you don’t consider it to be something very big, but still that the propel you to make a change. And in hindsight as I guess, even to you that was something that could have either held you back or propelled you forward. And that’s really the crux of what I kind of design my life around to saying if something is holding you back then use it to propel yourself forward. So when you
David Ralph [18:21]
get this idea for chronically driven, which is a great project, was there a waiting audience? Did people get caught up in waiting for this you’re leading the way or did you create it, look around total silence and then had to go and find these people even though there seems a necessary need for it?
Bhavani Esapathi. [18:41]
And I think there there is.
I speak about this with a lot of people and it’s quite interesting because I also have I work in you know, marketing, communications and social media. And, and to me it it was quite special. I come to see that there wasn’t a direct audience and when I say direct audience, I mean that, that there are people who literally send me, you know, you email me or find me on Twitter or anywhere else who like send me Facebook messages ago like well, you know, I completely relate to this. This is fantastic. I love this I love waking up and reading any story but but then when you when you ask them to say Oh, okay, so obviously you relate to do you want to write for it and and this suddenly kind of back off because it’s something personal and and if you go through the stories, you’ll see that it’s very personal. It’s, it puts you in a in an incredibly vulnerable light. And that that’s not how we as human beings have trained ourselves to put forth the publicly in society. So, so it’s been that I certainly think there is an audience and they People who constantly get in touch with me, but trying to bring that out in the open. I think that’s been the hard negotiation. And there are quite a few stories where people have written with, you know, with pseudonyms, like they don’t want their real name out there, but they’re still very keen to get this story out in the public. So that’s been quite interesting actually. And the fact that you picked up on it as well so so trying to build an audience around something like that has been challenging.
David Ralph [20:33]
Now I see it time and time again that people have an idea. There’s obviously a need for it. But generally people are lazy. I’m a I have certain things I have to sort of market for the show. And when when you start a show like this, if anyone’s interested in doing a podcast, one of the things that you need to do is get iTunes reviews. It’s really, really important. And I generally never wanted to ask for iTunes reviews on the shows. I heard a lot of shows When people go, Okay, please do be happy. Oh, no one’s interested just, you know, just leave. But I would say to people face to face, even when they had their phones in front of us out, leave us a review, could you? Oh, yeah, I do that. And I didn’t. And they didn’t. And I would find it time and time again that I was pushing a boulder up a hill, where a lot of people could have just given me a couple of fingers and helped push that boulder with me. But once it gets to that tipping point, that’s when it becomes hugely powerful. And people start jumping on board. And we’re chronically driven. I know that you’ve had interest. Well, you’ve been on the BBC, and if you want the BBC, that’s a biggie. So did that help push it forward? Was that one of your tipping points? Was that when the boulder started running away with you?
Bhavani Esapathi. [21:46]
And I think it’s, yeah, I mean, I’ve spoken in conferences as well as you know, how have received of different kinds of press for it and It’s always gathered interest in terms of people getting in touch is showing support on social media. But the hardest has been to change the mindset. And I think, you know, we were funded by the British Council to go speak, to be a part of a workshop and go speak it up in a conference earlier this year. And, and one of the things that happened in the workshop was one of the mentors said, well, you need to really acknowledge what you’re asking. You’re not just asking people to write a story about their lives, but you’re, you’re asking the world at large to change their mindset about how they, how they view, you know, how they view health, how they view personalities, how they view individual people, because we don’t want to put ourselves forward as someone with these various you know, if That we struggle to cope with because
David Ralph [23:02]
yet but but why not? Because that is the power, isn’t it? That is when if you look at anyone who’s really gone out there and done graphics, and I’m instantly thinking of Oprah Winfrey, she had a terrible life. And she shared it constantly. And she’s an inspiration to us because she has shed everything walks and oh, and that’s that’s the true power, isn’t it? Surely people should be able to see. But once you really open yourself up, you will start finding your tribe. Once you start really being open and genuine, then people will find you because they’re frightened to do that. So you’ve got to be the bearer of saying this is what it is. Put it out there.
Bhavani Esapathi. [23:45]
Yeah, I think that’s what’s helped with chronically driven at what I should have probably started out by saying it started out as me trying to talk about these things that people don’t talk about. I mean, with any chronic condition. You’ll find that two of the most significant things that prevent you from leading a normal life often get sidelined up under medical care because well, you know, medical professions are trying to keep you alive. And sometimes things like being in chronic pain or having chronic fatigue kind of get sidelined because it’s like, well, we’ve kept you alive. We all you know, kind of are helping you lead a semi normal life. So, if you’re in pain, maybe take some aspirin or something. I mean, personally, I take one of one of the heavy drugs I’m on like regular Tramadol. So, so
David Ralph [24:46]
is that controlling the Chrome’s or what was Yeah,
Bhavani Esapathi. [24:48]
and that’s actually for my arthritis. And I’m also things on the long list of things wrong with me. I didn’t mention was up. Also, I’m severely austere perotti also So, um, so as a result, I have really brittle bones and I have very bad joint aches and uncaught until two years ago, I couldn’t even move up straight. So I had to walk, like hunched down like an old lady. So
David Ralph [25:16]
and that’s the spondylitis, isn’t it?
Bhavani Esapathi. [25:18]
Yes. In really ancient times, I think it was known as a bamboo spine. Which I can see.
David Ralph [25:27]
Yeah, I can see. Yeah.
Bhavani Esapathi. [25:28]
Yeah, yeah. So it’s when your spine merges in with your pelvis. Therefore, you don’t have the flexibility as everyone else does. And until I went on some really harsh immunosuppressants, which has its own side effect. I literally couldn’t walk up straight. So that found
David Ralph [25:50]
a lot of money by walking around I’m actually
Bhavani Esapathi. [25:54]
you know, you would think except if it wasn’t for the chronic pain, it probably would have Yeah. I should try do that again. Anyway, I have a reason to I can just pretend to be in pain. So, um, where was I going with it, I completely lost track.
David Ralph [26:10]
Welcome back to it. That’s what this show is all about, I take you off track and when I drag you where I want to go, let’s play some words now because it really is the key point of the show. And it’s one of these speeches that I don’t think I’m ever gonna drop off because I like to see how it makes you feel. This is Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [26:28]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [26:55]
Now, those words are hugely powerful. You could have been the five You could upset Oh, I can’t do this. I’m just gonna go the easy route. Why should I do this when I’ve got this against me this against me this against me. But you’ve turned into the Jim Carrey, where you’re saying, I’m going to take a chance on this. I’m going to put myself out there. Is that something that was naturally always in you? Or was it something that had to find the right moment to people?
Bhavani Esapathi. [27:23]
And I think that was naturally in me. And when I say that, I don’t think I’m special. And that’s something I constantly have to stress again and again, because what with the work I’m doing, I don’t want to be seen as this remarkable, unique individual because the whole point is, I think everyone can be, you know, can be what they want to be. And when I say that was always in me, I think it was easier for me to excuse me to discover it because I didn’t go to school as a child. As a result. I had The time for the first 18 years of my life to, you know, maybe even waste a couple of years and then think, you know what, I’m not going to spend the rest of my life just lying in bed unable to do things and kind of get my act together. And and that was possible because there wasn’t someone telling me that you know, these are the You can’t do this or this is how we need to be well, having said that I did have a family that you know, that did tell me that oh, you know, it’s fine if you don’t do these things because you’re incredibly sick and that’s fine and I get that even to this day where but when I do go off to speak, speak in places, far and wide. I get that from people go. Are you taking all of your medications with you? Are you going to be able to travel or is that possible to do I see this coming up so often that this this narrative that being helpful means just keeping people in where they are. And you know, the people who tell me these things, even now, both my friends and family or still have the best interests in mind for me, I completely understand that. But I think because, as you know, growing up for the first 18 years of my life, I wasn’t given the handbook, if you will, as everyone else’s of what’s possible, and what’s impossible, I think I would say it was always in me. But that’s not to say that it’s not in everyone else.
David Ralph [29:36]
But there does come a point when you actually feel angry, but you you’ve kind of let yourself down. I certainly feel that. And when somebody says to me now, because I’ve had so many conversations with people who literally shouldn’t be able to do what they’re doing, but they’re doing it anyway. And I remember, Episode 273 was a gentleman called Chad hymas, who had a terrible accident and was left Basically numb from the neck down. And he he travels the world on his own in a wheelchair and he gets himself hotels and he gets himself on planes. And he literally can barely dress himself, but he does it. And I listened to the stories and I think we’ve got it in us. I don’t wait, we’ve got it in this coupon E to actually stop listening to these podcasts and go out and do something. Stop buying all these self development books on Amazon because we think they’re going to give us the answer. And actually, the answer is in us that we just got to do it, do it. And it might not be right first time. It might not be right second time. But when you look back in your Join Up Dots, you realise that actually you’re gaining experience, but each time it it potentially seems like a failure, but lead you on to something else, but you gotta keep on doing it.
Bhavani Esapathi. [30:50]
Yeah, that’s absolutely right. Because I could, I couldn’t agree with you more or put it better myself. It’s Because I think, you know, a good example to put the story in context is, people do talk to me a lot about oh, you know, I’m not happy with my job or my life or, you know, yada, yada, yada, whatever you will. And one of the first things I asked them is, okay, so what do you want to do? And I think the reason people don’t do things is that they don’t take the time out to figure out what they want to do in the first place. And that can be hard. Like, I, if you told me Oh, if you want a comfortable life, you need to earn a certain kind of money, then it could be like, oh, either I need to become a CEO of a big company. Or maybe I could try to be a movie star. And I personally know that either of those are in the best options for me as a person as an individual. So I think the reason people don’t do these things is because they haven’t taking the time out to even ask them some what they want to do rather than looking for people to tell them that these are the things that could possibly bring you happiness. Did you
David Ralph [32:11]
know your why? When did you know the reason why you’re doing it on a daily basis? Why you’re getting out of bed even when you don’t feel like it? Why are you going off to these conferences? Even if you’re on medication? Do you know your why?
Bhavani Esapathi. [32:25]
This is this a wonderful question simply because I actually wrote a post from a mutual friend, Mark, Mark way from travelling cup who we connected from. It’s actually it’s all about finding your wife finding your purpose. And in that post, I said how one of the big reasons people don’t discover it is because we think there is a purpose like there is a purpose there’s a single purpose and a single why we need for my life. But, uh, I think I’m completely comfortable with having different wise or, you know, going through several wise about why we doing certain things and you know, sometimes the Y for me is very personal, it’s about, I need to prove to myself that I’m capable of, excuse me of doing something that people think I’m not and sometimes the why is because I got an email from someone who said, Oh, this post that you put up the other day really helped me not give up on what I want to do. So I think the Y changes, it’s just about recognising the Weizmann they come your way and as you shows, it, talks about joining up the dots. It’s about recognising that in several ways, and then several dots in your life that in the end kind of, you know, give you the greater meaning.
David Ralph [33:57]
Well, I agree with you to a point I actually have a professional, why. And I have a personal why. And the two are kind of linked in certain ways, but really do direct me in the way that I want to go. And what I always say to the listeners out there, but once you start something you will, you’ll be battling on it on your own and nobody really wants to help you. When you get to a certain point where people will start saying what you should be doing is doing this and what you should be doing is doing that. And you get all this advice, even if you haven’t asked for it from people. Yeah, and some of its great advice and some of it you kind of think okay, I didn’t ask for that in the first place. But if you know why you’re doing something, if you know what your why is what your ultimate aim is. A lot of those questions don’t even come into it a lot. Those questions just bounce off and you are just laser targeted to where you want to go. So with myself I’ve spent a lot of time working on my professional wire what I want to do with the show, but my personal why as well and my purpose Why I suppose is the lazy side of me is the kind of, I don’t want the show to take me over. But they’re my professional, why is that I want the show to be the biggest thing ever and sort of dominate everywhere. So I’ve got to find that sort of balance between the two. So with yourself, what how do you create income from chronically driven? where a lot of people will have this idea for a blog or a platform or whatever, but actually monetizing it is the hard thing.
Bhavani Esapathi. [35:29]
Yeah, I’m, at the moment chronically up, driven to me, it’s, it’s been more about going to places to speak. And, and, you know, trying to get the word out and well speaking is a good career if you enjoy speaking and I personally really, really enjoy speaking to a large group of people. But from practically doing point of view, it’s mostly been with speaking However, because of all Speaking, I’ve been doing. And we’ve had a lot of interest from people who do want to turn it into a book or co sponsor it in different ways. Like I’ve been in touch with the National Hospital caterers who do want to support it in different ways. So Vista, we’re exploring ways we could do that. And, but to me, I think the most that I have personally focused on is is on speaking. And I’m not sure I did say this that I do. I and I think this relates very closely to chronicle the agreement is that I do work for, you know, different creative industries for marketing and social media side of things. And the reason I do that is because that’s something I’m passionate about. I’m passionate about technology. I’m passionate about creative industries, museums and galleries and when I went up, you know, last year was when I was told that, you know, I really can’t continue working in the normal sense, even if it meant go into an office once a week. So that’s when I had to literally turn my life upside down and think, okay, who can? How can I not do rather? How can I expect someone to pay me to never come into work? Oh, I love
David Ralph [37:27]
the answer this. Every single person who’s listening to this show is getting a hideout and this is what we want. Don’t worry about the other 400 episodes of vsps Big Gold.
Bhavani Esapathi. [37:39]
Yeah, and I’ve been doing it successfully, as you mentioned in your, in your introduction, living in London, which isn’t cheap by any means is you literally do you put content that from a logistical point of view, you put content online, that should People that you’re worth it. So the people I work with right now, I never need to go in to work, but I still get the work done. And that could be a two in the morning that could be at six in the afternoon, or that could be at 10 in the morning. And if you really ask yourself, most people don’t do anything after the like, in the latter half of the day or the first half of the day, you know, we don’t work the eight hours that were in the office. And I’m obviously you have worked in an office. I don’t have much experience of it. But but the few times, I did do things part time where I did have to go into offices, I found that I worked maybe three, four hours and I did everything. Yeah, yeah. And then you kind of go well, what do I do now and that was because I wasn’t used to this interview. where, you know, I think our brains are tricked into thinking, these are the things I need to do, how do I divide them for, you know, eight hours, and then I’m going to take my lunch, then I’m gonna have a meeting then pull off a couple of hours ago. Why? Why can’t you just work for three or four hours? And then just enjoy your day, go get some song.
David Ralph [39:21]
Well, that’s why I left. That’s why I left my company and you are you are preaching to the converted here? Because I used to think that all the time, if I’m being paid for the work I do, why do I have to stay here for eight hours? And where we got this bigger problem, and I’ve heard this for in the Tim Ferriss book, The Four Hour Workweek, how we’ve got this whole eight hour workday. So you’re telling me that somebody in Bangalore doing a job is going to take as long as me doing my job here and somebody in Alaska, it’s all going to be eight hours, it’s rubbish. There’s no reason at all. We should be paid for what we do. And if we go in and we do it incredibly well. And we do it fast. Let us go, let us leave our life. And that’s, that’s how I’m, I’m actually building a company at the moment. And one of the things that I say to them all is, I don’t want to hear from you at all, unless you’ve got good news. And if you’ve got bad news, when you better sought it out, so that it becomes good news before I hear about it, and that’s it, and they go off and they do their stuff. And then they come back and we talked, and I don’t care if they’re sitting up a tree doing their work, as long as when we say it needs to be done, it’s done and the story and that’s got to be the way of life isn’t it?
Bhavani Esapathi. [40:38]
Yes, yes. And I can say I was you know, with, as much as I’m I pride myself for saying, Oh, I always done have done things unconventionally, and I will find a way but, you know, last year when I found out that I literally could not even go somewhere to work, even if it’s one or two days, as I had done Previously, I’ve never had a full time job. So I’ve never had to deal with that. But I’m, you know, I was terribly scared because I thought, who’s gonna pay me to never come into work? I mean, the kind of sounds contrary to it, but then the people I did meet and who did want to want me to work with them. And I said, Well, I can do this. And you know this, these are my ideas, but I’m not going to be sitting next to you at a desk working so and it right now. I do social media for ArcMap London, which is, you know, you can look at our website where we have, we basically are like, a database and a website for museums and galleries in London as well as I mentor about digital innovations within the arts for a MOOC on by the government. Institute for the really good organisations and their and the prestigious ones that so it so you can see that if you are good at what you do and this is where it comes back to knowing what you’re passionate about. I mean, growing up, I always wrote so I consider myself a writer at heart. So I think social media just came natural to me and playing with technology has always been interesting to me. I’ve been the one you know, kind of likes to pull things apart and find out how things work. So I think if you if you find out your passion, what you’re passionate about, you can do that in any way that you feel comfortable with the you want to do it. Because, you know, like if I was working in, I don’t know, if I was doing some kind of admin job. I don’t think I would have been able to convince someone that I can do it elsewhere. But that’s not to say If you if some any of the listeners are in an admin job, they can’t. It’s just that is that? Is that something you feel very passionate about? And I think if it is, then you can convince someone that you are worthy of letting you do crazy things like never come into work.
David Ralph [43:18]
I had a lady on the show a while back who had a interview in a in a coffee house like Starbucks or something. And the this company came in and they said, Why, okay, we want you to work for us. We really like what you’re doing. We’re pay you 2000 a month. And you only have to come into the office three days a week. And she went well, I’ll tell you what, you pay me 5000 a month and I will never come into your office, but I will do everything that you want. And I went out there. And she and she will Oh my god. I can’t believe that I bought into that. But more often than not, we frightened ourselves by actually asking these questions. Don’t worry, we frighten ourselves by going up to our manager and saying I want to take Friday off every week, but I guarantee it won’t affect the work. I guarantee I will get everything done and I will be more productive. Let’s test it out for four weeks. Let’s just try it out. And if you can see that there’s not an issue, Ben where keep going. But the managers, they’re reluctant because they think if I do this for this person, I’ve got to do it for every person. Why not? Why not manages that the world? Why can’t you do it? Just Just do it. And what’s the worst that’s gonna happen? I tell you what, Bonnie, I’m on a bit of a rant now. And I was listening to Gillian Anderson, you know, The X Files lady. And she was talking about how she likes making films, but she hates going around doing all these interviews. And she said, wouldn’t it be great if we just tested it out? So instead of us doing this, none of us did it. And we could just see if people still went to the film’s we put the trailers out on YouTube, we put them on the telly, and we just see if people do it. Do people really go to the cinema because they’ve listened to me in an interview. course they don’t they go because they fancy actually watching it. But the industry won’t actually allow that to happen because it’s something that they’ve always done. And that’s where I think mindset comes into it again, isn’t it? People have got to allow the bad things to happen to find the good stuff. They’ve got to allow things to have a bit of freedom to actually find the real gold. But at the moment, we’re still working from a kind of, I don’t know, 1880s mentality where you get, you sit at your desk, you go to lunch, you come home, and that’s the way or operates. It’s run by Bonnie. That’s what I’m saying. It’s wrong.
Unknown Speaker [45:33]
Bhavani Esapathi. [45:35]
Yeah, obviously, I agree with you. But I think you asked why don’t managers allow us to do that? It’s because it goes back to this handbook that we that we receive, I think we get this invisible handbook when we graduate more so than you know, any kind of education quote unquote, is the handbook in a way of speaking So, if managers did allow us to do that there would be a dissolution of, you know, the Handbook of organisations or institutions of a certain way of working.
David Ralph [46:12]
You wrote me, I’m all ranty. Today, who cares? Who cares about Miss rulebook? If he doesn’t exist? Why are we caring about it?
Bhavani Esapathi. [46:21]
Because I think we like to have a sense of control of, you know, the this run to certain reality. And it’s two way that’s what people often forget that the managers do want to control you, but at the same time, we are rerouted. They do because that means if we screw up, they will take the blame for it.
David Ralph [46:45]
I can see why they Yeah, okay. buy into that.
Bhavani Esapathi. [46:48]
Yeah, yeah, rather than us taking the blame. So I
David Ralph [46:52]
don’t I don’t agree with that. I’ve been a manager for years. The managers will just blame it on you because you’ve screwed up. They’re not gonna take responsibility.
Bhavani Esapathi. [47:00]
Yeah, but you know, you are the one who’s going to be responsible for either maybe the client, you’re you’re, you’re the front facing person compared to your whole team, no one’s going to call your whole team and say, you guys individually are responsible for these things that went wrong. Rather, you know, the CEO is going to be calling you and asking How could you let this happen?
David Ralph [47:24]
And I say, it wasn’t me. It was me tape. Now. I would never do that. I will back my teams to the Hill. So where is chronically driven? going? Where’s the dream for it? Because it seems in a remarkable thing, and as I say, I know quite a few people with Crohn’s disease, and they always seem to feel they’re the only one out there. But of course they’re not. So is it? How to manage the disease, but is it important thing or is it how to manage the mindset? Well, what are you trying to?
Bhavani Esapathi. [47:55]
Yeah, I think they’re interrelated and it’s not easy. specific to groans. I mean, I myself had multiple chronic conditions. So it’s open for anyone who has a chronic invisible condition. And the reason why I stress on the invisible is that every time someone looks at me or someone sees me, they go, Oh, well, you look perfectly fine and you look perfectly healthy. So, and I think there’s a lack of understanding for invisible conditions. I mean, the stories that range from people with MS to lupus to Crohn’s disease, to cancer to a whole range of things that you can’t really see. And it is about managing the disease, as well as your mindset Because ultimately, they’re both related very closely to each other. And although, to be honest, it started out of my frustrations with most of the stuff support groups and the networks that that that are online right now you can go to any of them and look at they often put up status messages or tweets that go on that say something like, how take how much pain Are you in today? And I thought to myself, how was this remotely helpful? Even if I’d forgotten, but I had paid for a brief second, you just reminded me that I’m in pain and made it was so. So it’s a space to say, Okay, well, you might have pain, you might have fatigue, you might have various other things that come with your particular condition, but it’s looking at how you can use that to create a better life and I can give you my own example is that I would have probably up you know, been incredibly good and very efficient because I like doing things very efficiently. That’s played a role it perfectly driven as well to, you know, in an office and I would have probably been perfectly happy. But I would have never found out the joy of maintaining your own time the joy of connecting with a whole group of people that I wouldn’t have known otherwise, if I wasn’t forced to have, you know, created curated this life for myself. And then the way that I can do that is because I’m even now I get contacted by different companies say, Oh, can you work with us on this? And I’m often asked, Well, they’re awful lot of things, and you see me and that’s precisely because I’m not restricted by the number of hours. I mean, people say, oh, there are only 24 hours in a day for everyone. That is true, but depends how you make use of it. I mean, I have held down over five different projects for five different organisations that want big Cause I’m able to respond to it differently, I’m able to work on one for two hours, get everything done work on another for the next two or three hours, and get everything done and so on and so forth. And to me personally, when people say, Oh, that must be awful to you know, be found in bed, especially in the UK when it gets so miserable and cold outside my joints really freeze up and a car move. And, and, you know, it’s, it’s quite bizarre how that is not the first thought that occurs to me. And I think, well, I’ve got means I’ve got a home morning where I don’t need to get out of bed, but I can stay in bed and get the whole load of writing done, get, you know, design, marketing strategies or read I mean, who has the time to read for four hours at a stretch in this day and age that I consider a blessing. So if you ask me about where chronic droon is going it’s about helping people recognise these gifts that come with chronic condition and to actually use the very same things that they think, Oh, well, after being in bed for four hours after I get up well, you can do amazing things from being in bed that others don’t have the opportunity to get done because they’re, you know, commuting for the first two hours of the day and then having coffee and trying to answer emails, and that’s the death day first four hours. So does that make sense?
David Ralph [52:33]
It makes total sense. And I think what we’re talking about is your why is very similar to my why it’s about control is about holding on to the time to do the right things at the right time, which allows the freedom of doing stuff that you want to do that you get lit up inside by doing and so many people haven’t got back, they get up and they go because I told they gotta go and I gotta get that train. Because that’s the train. They go They catch him and they get to the office and they grab their coffees, and then they’ve got their lunch. And everything’s been told, told, told, but once you get into that mindset of Hang on, I can actually control this myself. I’m not buying into this invisible hand book, but you’re talking about when you have got options. It’s not gonna be an easy path. It really isn’t. But I do believe now that if you’re brave enough to have the discussions in your office, you don’t have to be entrepreneurial. I do believe that you can say to people with work life balance and family commitments, whatever, can we tailor it a bit? And the old mindset of they’re gonna say, No, is probably a thing of the past. They might say no, but they gotta justify it. And that’s the
Bhavani Esapathi. [53:42]
yet that’s completely true. I have a friend who’s been living in America, I’ve known him for, you know, ever since I was a kid, and then now he’s, excuse me. Now he’s married and he has his own kid and they’ve had quite a bit of a few helpful And apparently he’s negotiated this deal from a, you know, a very rigid, organisational structured company, that everyone works in cubicles to say, I might come into office once a week, but I will still get all my work done. But I’m going to be me, I’m going to need to be at home, you know, to look after my wife and my kids and so on, and they’re fine with it because they know he can get the job done and that he’s genuinely passionate about what he does. So yeah, it’s definitely not impossible. I mean, there are people doing it all over the world.
David Ralph [54:37]
Well, let’s play the words. Now that became the whole theme of the show. And these are words from a man who was extremely passionate about what he delivered and what he gave to us. Unfortunately, he’s no longer around. But he’s words will live on. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [54:50]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later, again, You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [55:25]
So I always ask this question but based on what he’s saying, what what is your big dot? What’s the sort of moment where your mindset change? And you decided to really take them drill?
Bhavani Esapathi. [55:39]
That that’s really weird because I listened to that speech all the time. It’s one of my favourite things to listen to. And that’s also because I think Steve job reminds me of this person who’s not particularly technical but you know, is known for bringing us Apple which is one of the biggest Software hardware things in the world now. So, but my sorry, I just had to mention it because for, for anyone out there think, Oh, well, you know, I want to do this but I don’t have the skills. Well, you know, Steve Jobs wasn’t particularly technical.
So my biggest thought, Oh,
I’m trying to wonder now I’ve had so many I think I might have to go back to when I was about 18. And I think and I was and I had to, excuse me and I and I decided to go to college and then university but obviously, as someone who had never been to school as a kid, I had more to prove that I can enter into this formal education system, especially when you apply to places and they go well You never been to school? So how do I know you’re a good fit to get into my institution and, and at the time, I kind of had to really see how I’m going to forever negotiate my views with what everyone else believes. And I think that was a good starting point for me to recognise it rather than feel defeated and given and do exactly as they told me to do, or that I can’t ever participate or ever go to college or go to university and so on. But, so I think that was a very big changing point where it’s structured how I work now, which is I always see things as a great space that needs negotiating and communicating rather than thinking, Oh, it’s either this way or it’s not at all.
David Ralph [57:53]
Were you scared of the thought of going to university and testing yourself or was it a kind of come on, I’m going to take
Bhavani Esapathi. [58:02]
I think it was about I’ll take you on biggest even though I didn’t go to school what is equal in of in the UK or in the US? I don’t know what they call it or anywhere else are you I still had to take a public exam like a board exam which basically said that Oh, you you know you do qualify you do understand, or you have the knowledge that a person your age should in these various subjects, therefore, you can go to college you can study further, and I think I was when I had to do that I I wasn’t scared. I was just naive because I thought well, that’s fine. I’m just going to read these and go take this test but right I was very, I felt really bizarre was that when I did take that and I passed all of them. It is It was another turning point where I thought well, okay, well, if I can do that, that surely means that I can do almost anything because people spend literally their whole life on their point they spent, you know, 18 years trying to pass those exams. And I just did that with a couple of months of studying. So, so yeah, I think I went into college and and there was quite a bit where I did feel very ignored at first, or rather that people weren’t hearing my voice because you think, Oh, well, it’s just someone who’s never been to education, then she’s probably going to quit in after the first semester, but I ended up graduating the highest in the entire college. And I think that was one of the things that drove me that I wanted to prove that things can not only be done differently, but they can excel even beyond your regular standard.
David Ralph [59:58]
Absolutely. To everything you’re saying, Well, unfortunately for us, this is the end of the show. And this is the part that we call the Sermon on the mic when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Bonnie, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme tune. And when it fires you up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [1:00:27]
We go with
Unknown Speaker [1:00:31]
Bhavani Esapathi. [1:00:44]
Hello, this is you are me from the feature. You’re almost two decades older now. And yes, time travel is possible. And that’s something I want you to remember. Not just anything but that everything is possible. No, it doesn’t look great right now when you feel bound by the walls and wonder when and if you get to do all the things you feel you’re capable of, no matter what others might tell you, and after growing into an adult, and I say that with coats, the one thing you need to always cling on to is your strangeness. You’re working on it now. And you continue to do so until you go to college and university. And when you do people begin to tell you, what’s the right way of looking at things and what’s the appropriate way of responding to things. Remember to your strange way of looking at things to prove your most valuable asset in the future. When the very same people begin to complete off a failed education system, or the broken economy. Hold on to it, nourish it. And when things seem unfair, remember, every single thing that happens to you has a very specific reason behind it, and as hard times turn into valuable resource You’ll pull from it later on in life, you’ll be pleased that it happened. The only thing I would change is to stop worrying and stressing about the future. I am from the future. And I can tell you, everything that is worried about are the very same thing. So I’m extremely glad I went through. And if you acknowledge it right where you are, you can make me a better person in the future, as we will have the chance to move forward quicker and learn more things for a better life. Yes, you’re never going to consider it a gift that you’re able to give more than what others think of you. Lastly, learn to be more present. And in the moment, I’m still learning that no one can use all the help that I can get
David Ralph [1:02:45]
avani How can our audience connect with you?
Bhavani Esapathi. [1:02:50]
Yeah, you can find me on Twitter as big as a and if it sounds confusing. It’s the first three letters of my first name The last three letters of my last name, or you can find me on you can find me all over the internet with BHA, ESA To be honest, including the my website that’s BHA esa.com. As well as if for those interesting chronically driven if you go to the website, you’ll see under projects chronically driven, however, you can access it tre p from BHA esa.com. forward slash chronically hyphen driven, and you’ll go straight to the page. And I love to speak to anyone who’s either resonates with anything I’ve said today or just wants to connect and find out more about, you know, anything that I might be able to help you it
David Ralph [1:03:44]
we will have over links on the show notes. But only thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots and please come back again when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures Bonnie. Thank you so much.
Bhavani Esapathi. [1:04:00]
Thank you David. This has been a wonderful way to start my day. Thank you very much.
David Ralph [1:04:07]
Thanks for listening to today’s episode of Join Up Dots brought to you exclusively by podcast is mastery.com. The only resource that shows you how to create a show, build an income and still have time for the life that you love. Check out podcast is mastery. com.
Now, David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.