Episode 176: Rimi Chakraborty - The High Achiever Who Found Happiness in an Unlikely PlaceNov 28, 2022
With an MBA from MIT Sloan and nearly 25 years of experience and certifications in yoga and meditation, Rimi Chakraborty has successfully translated the ancient teachings of her Indian roots to the corporate world to align company mission with purpose. Her passion to lead mindfully stems from leaving a prestigious management consultant gig in Boston to owning and operating a retreat center in the Azores, Portugal. In addition to teaching chakra-based yoga and meditation practices, Rimi consults with Fortune 500 companies like PepsiCo Global as well as the University of Toronto to lead both group and 1:1 leadership sessions. Rimi holds various certifications in Forrest Yoga, Yin Yoga, Energy Healing, Energy Medicine, and Yoga for Trauma.
In this episode, you will learn:
- How Rimi Chakraborty's upbringing influenced her definition of success
- The EQ factor and how it is important in achieving success
- The pivots that Rimi Chakraborty made in her career that led her to a place of happiness and contentment
You can find Rimi on LinkedIn and check out her businesses Minuvida and RimiChakra.
“In my life, with all the pivots that I’ve made have led me to where I would say is a very successful, happy and content place. My life is really the balancing of not always trying so hard, doing what I love, and doing my best."
“We co founded a framework that helps us bring together these physical symptoms with our emotional health, like how we're feeling and some of the feelings of, am I enough? What do I reach for? Is there more? And also with our leadership behavior, like, how are we showing up? As are we strong in ambition and grit, or are we strong in compassion and empathy?”
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- Picked Cherries’ social podcasting app is the destination for the best podcast listening experience for all listeners. Download the app for FREE on Google Play and the App Store. Share podcasts like never before with Picked Cherries. Learn more at PickedCherries.com.
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Hello. Welcome back to your next stop. This is Juliet Hahn. In this episode, I interview Reimi Chaka Borte. Did you hear how I said that I nailed it the first time in the episode?
You have to listen. I mean, because I surprised myself because, you guys know, I hardly ever get someone's name that is difficult to write the first time. So it is very funny. This episode. I have to tell you, as a podcaster, you kind of listen and look to see time, like where you are in the time as you're interviewing.
I look down and we were 36 minutes in this episode. So amazing. I absolutely was so enthralled in Remy's story. University of Pennsylvania, MIT met her husband. They moved overseas and started this, their own business.
You have to hear the Pivots, the Churns, and how Remy and her husband are now at the top of their game. Really, really fun episode. You can find Remy on her website, which is Rimi Chakra, and that is Rimichakra.com. And they do so many different things. You can go and do a retreat, they do tours around the country that they are.
You have to listen because it's really, really fun and really amazing. And the journey that happened to get them where they are is just so heartwarming. It's just really incredible. And you can also find Remy on Instagram at Rimi chakra underscore. And then you can find also her company.
And I'm just going to spell this for you. It's M-I-N-U-V-I-D azores. And that's A-Z-O-R-E-S. So definitely check out Rimi. She's also on LinkedIn.
Her name is R-I-M-I-C-H-A-K-R-A-B-O-R-T-Y. Again, definitely want to check this out. Please also follow me at I am Juliet Hahn. On most socials. You can also find my website at I am Juliet Hahn.com, LinkedIn and Facebook.
I am Juliet Hahn. If you guys have not known that I have a consulting business, which you might not, because I don't really talk about it a lot, but I consult people on how to share their stories. So I help a lot of podcasters people that are in the media network or people that are in the business world that are networking, because I help pick out the important parts of your story and help you be able to piece them together and then go on either the podcast circuit especially if you're a brand, a small business, if you are an influencer, you have a podcast different things like that. If you're in corporate and you're going to networking events, I help you pick out the parts of your story that are going to connect deeper and get you into those circles. So you can check me out on my website, I am Juliet Hahn.com.
You can also email me at info at iJuliet Hahn.com. And that is Juliet is spelled like romeo. Not the romantic, not the Hollywood way. So again, Rimi Chakraborty, you guys, you're going to enjoy this episode so much, and thank you for joining your Next Stop. Have you ever been listening to your favorite podcast and that moment comes up and you think, oh, my gosh, I need to share it?
Well, now you can with picked cherries. What I love about picked cherries so much is that when I'm listening to my favorite podcast and that moment comes up that I want to share, I can take a Snippet, which is called the picked Chakraborty, and I can send that to my friends and family so they can get involved in the podcast that I love. It's almost like sending an IG or a Tik tok available now. iOS and Android, if you're not picking cherries, are you really listening to podcasts?
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to your Next stop. This is Juliet Hahn. I say it every single time. I know I do, but I can't help myself.
I'm really excited to bring you Rimi Chakraborty. Did I say right? That's perfect. That was perfect. Yay.
Okay. Holy crap. Okay, your next stop, listeners, you guys have to be very impressed because I only practiced that, like, one time. I am very, very proud of myself. So welcome, Remy, to your next stop.
Oh, thank you so much. It's such a joy to be here. Thank you for having me. Yes, I'm excited to dive into this, and I do want people right now, though. Remy, if you can share with everyone, I know you're on LinkedIn, you also hang out on Instagram and your website, but can you give spell it and kind of give it to everyone?
So now, since I said it perfectly, I don't want to mess it up. Absolutely. Yeah. So LinkedIn my name and then also on the instagram at Rimi chakra R-I-M-I-C-H-A-K-R-A. Best way to find me and my website is Rimachakra.com.
Perfect. And this will all be in the show notes, but if you are driving, please don't stop and try to write this down. It will be there, this will be out, and you guys will get to listen to this amazing story. So we're going to dive right in. Remy, I ask every single one of my guests, I would just love to know a little bit about your background, where you grew up, if you went to university, and then we'll take it from there.
Yeah. Let's start with my name, since that was such a great job. Again. Well, so my family is originally from India, but I grew up in the United States on the East Coast, alabama, actually, and then moved my way up. And I think it's worth mentioning that my family is from India because I think it shaped a lot of the traditional metrics of success that I thought that I was really living by.
So I went to an Ivy League university. University of Pennsylvania. I then went to work on Wall Street in New York City and I ended up moving to Boston and I worked as a manager at the company I was working at and then went to get my MBA at MIT Sloan. So I really followed that path of reach for the top, get the most you can get, and always go for the stars. Right.
I love that you said that, because when I have a lot of guests on, we do find some cultures. It is a very important thing, education, and there's a couple of different professions that this is what we expect of you. This is how finance, lawyer, doctor, exactly. Was that kind of put on you as a child? Absolutely.
And I think it is in a lot of cultures. I know a lot of my friends from different places. We share similar experiences. And then I remember going to school and some of my friends would get $5 for every B on their report card. I mean, we were like 13 or something.
But I remember I would come home with straight A's and maybe one A minus. And the deep, serious conversation was, why did you get an A minus? So it was always instilled in me and I am so grateful because it really did set me up for success. And I do strongly believe that it led to where I am now. Of course.
Right. And you know, it's so interesting because anyone that listens to my podcast, they know I'm Dyslexic. The school was really tough for me. There was no pressure for grades, just as long as I did my best. And it was like, OK, you do your best and you're not going to get in trouble.
But if you don't do your best and we see that and you don't get a great grade, then there's consequences. Which I actually thrived in because there were some classes that I just in. Traditional school is not where I shined. In college, I realized, okay, I am smart. This is how I learned.
These are the things I'm good at. And then outside of school is really where I shine. The people personal skills, communication skills. When I walked into a room, I could have a conversation with any single person. I could talk about anything.
It was just really in the traditional classroom. And so raising three children, it's interesting because my oldest is Dyslexic and the same, if you're trying your best, you're not going to get in trouble. And he is more of someone that wants to get good grades. And so he does put effort in, but there's classes that he's not going to be a scientist or mathematician. He struggles in those.
And so it's like, okay, just do your best in those. And then my other two children that don't struggle. And it's interesting when if Montgomery ever got on the honor roll, he would get money. And I remember my middle son saying, am I going to get money like Montgomery did for getting on the honor roll? And I remember being taken back for a second because I was like, crap, I'm doing my middle guy disservice because I'm not putting the pressure on him.
But I never got that pressure from my parents. And it was like, just, we want you to do your best. If you're not doing your best, then we have a problem if you're not going to get good grades. And then my daughter, who is my middle son, is fairly he's really good at school as well. But my daughter is really, really good at school.
And she puts pressure. And I remember she came home and said that she had this GPA and it was like, I mean, high ninety s. Okay, let's just say that. And she said, no, I want it better. And I just remember being like, wow, okay.
And she's saying, am I going to get on the honor roll? Now I know she's going to make the honor roll every marking period, right? And so do I pay her every single time or don't I? Because it is like, OK, this comes easy to you, but there is this sometimes internal struggle that we did it for my older son, it was like, okay, if you do get on the honor roll, we're going to reward you because we know you're working so hard to do that. But my daughter and my middle son, who don't really have to work that hard in traditional school, and so traditional school to me is you can be intelligent in traditional school, but you can literally get lost in paper bag because you have no street skills, you have no interpersonal skills.
So it's a really interesting thing for me. And so I love when I meet people like yourself, that school was really but I'm sure you worked hard where you went. You had to work hard. Yes. And I think I love what you shared about the emotional intelligence, the EQ factor, and how important that is.
And it's interesting, actually, along my journey, I've actually had to learn to be more, to surrender more, and to validate myself to that question about your daughter, should you pay her? I mean, I almost wonder if how do we learn how to validate ourselves? How do we learn to be proud of ourselves? So it's not always something that we're seeking outside, which, like I said, I'm grateful that my parents pushed me and that they set these values for me to follow. But in my life and in the pivots that I've made that have led me to what I would say is a very successful and happy and content place in my life is really the balancing of not always trying so hard, you know, doing what I love, doing my best, but doing what I care.
About, which is so important. I love that you said that and I love that you said because you're obviously a high achiever. But what you said that I think people took. And I know I did. I mean it like literally bells and muscles.
You're happy and you're content and that's what's so important because so many people do, they work for these goals and it's maybe not their goals, it's not their passion, it's not really what they're meant to do, but it's what they think they're supposed to do. And so as a parent, it is sometimes hard to be like, okay, this give and take, what do we do here? How do we push you? But then we also sometimes it is what it is. And the EQ part, I do believe we all have our strengths and weaknesses.
Some people it comes way easier for. And a lot of times that person that is maybe a super high achieving in school is going to miss a little bit of the EQ. And that's where they have to work harder to and then the person that their EQ is so high, it's the school, they have to work a little harder too. So it's so interesting how the human brain works and how people work. And where you are in society or in what stage of life you are in really determines that.
As we get older and I know we're going to jump into this, but as you get older and you see what's important and it really is to be happy and content and to be what you're doing, it doesn't matter. You can be super successful, you can make tons of money, but it's not what really lights you up. It's not your passion and your miserable. Well said. Thank you.
So you went to MIT. Yeah, so then I went to MIT and I was hoping to do real estate development and I ended up graduating in 2010, which if listeners remember the last big economic crisis was around 2008, specifically in the real estate and the housing market. Right. And so I graduated from one of the top business schools in the world and was actually having a hard time finding a job, which was really crazy. But I ended up working with a really great consulting firm doing commercial real estate consulting which was awesome.
I was able to really sink my teeth into interesting problem solving and working with developers, which is what I'd wanted to do. And long story short, that was when I met my husband who's from the Azores, and we ended up coming here to visit as a potential destination wedding during a location search for our destination wedding. And that led my life in a very different path. I think that's so interesting. It's a real estate as my dad was in real estate, my sister went into corporate real estate and really loved that.
And again I loved how you painted that because yes, I remember 20 08 20 09 20 10 Very well. Because we lived in the city at that time and didn't know if we wanted to stay there full time, we also had a place at the beach and we were like, should we like, what should we do here? We need to kind of, like, figure this out because we don't know where this is going to take us. And so the fact that that's when you met your husband and then you kind of went down this other path. So take us through that, please.
Sure. Yeah. So we came in 2012 to San Miguel, which is one of the nine islands of the Azores, which is an archipelago of Portugal in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Everyone's never heard of it. With direct flights from to Boston, by the way.
So very accessible. So we came and of course, I was blown away. It's volcanic. They call it Europe's, Hawaii. It's as if Ireland and Hawaii had a baby there's all these metaphors, and I just felt so connected to this place.
So, of course, we decided to have our wedding here. And then meanwhile, my aunt Minu had passed away and she had left me with a life insurance policy, which was money that I thought we could put towards a down payment for our first home together. That ended up becoming the basis of an idea that we had, which was because in my job, in my consulting world, it was a lot about working and putting my energy into something that I felt wasn't really feeding my spirit, wasn't really aligned with my values. And I was, you know, putting all my energy and working so hard. And I watched company after company take my advice.
Of course, I believed it was good advice. I worked hard to put it together, but they made decisions purely based on ROI. Are we going to make our money back in a year? Are we going to make our money back ASAP? Which to me did not take into consideration some other really important factors that I really cared about.
And so with my aunt's money, my husband and I started thinking, instead of just buying a vacation home or a first home, that we were thinking of putting it towards, why don't we live a life aligned with our purpose? Why don't we look for a place in the azures? And so that is a very long story in itself, but it took way longer to find a property. And then when we did finally find a property, which, by the way, we named after my aunt, so Vita and Portuguese means life, and Minu Vida is the name of our business. Mimu Vita.
Mimu was my aunt. And it really is about following your dreams and knowing that you can live your dreams, you can be successful and content and happy. Yes, it's so important. Okay, so where was your family at this point? And were they supportive?
Were they hesitant? Where were they? Yeah, I mean, I would say that they were definitely hesitant because they, of course had left India and moved to the United States and they had hoped for their daughter, I'm an only child as well, to have a successful life here. I don't think they ever imagined me moving abroad, for sure. And so they were very hesitant.
But when they came to our wedding, which we had in 2013, my mom, I remember she said, she said, you know what, I'm going to move in. I'm going to wash the dishes at the place that you run.
And my dad ended up being a really instrumental figure because we ended up not getting any financing, which that's a whole long story, but one of the reasons we wanted to start our business here in Azores was because there were economic incentives available for sustainable tourism. So I would get to finally do that real estate project I wanted with solar and wind and geothermal and all the things that I cared about and that my husband cares about. But long story short, we didn't get a penny, right? And that's hard. And I mean, I know that's a long story, but I do want to touch on that because I do feel sometimes those and I don't want to say failures, because that's a misstep, but that's a step back.
That's something that you plan that didn't happen where mindset wise, did you ever why did we do this? I had a great job. Take us through that a little bit, please. Yeah, no, and it is worth going into because it was such an amazing learning experience. So this was so, let's see, this was now 2015.
We had moved here and I had kept my job part time. And this was before remote work was a thing. Remote work was not a thing. And I remember one of my senior partners suggested that I not mention that I was here and I remember being on a conference call with cows moving in the background and the client was like, what is that noise? Before zoom and video calls, it was just a conference call.
But anyway, and so we moved here, 2015. I had my job part time and then Joao and I ended up running a beta testing season, which meant that we had bought this villa. It had been abandoned and we did the minimal necessary to get it up and running. We had plans for big renovation, but we thought, you know what, why don't we find out what it's like to run the business that we're planning before we spend all of our money and apply for the funding, et cetera. Let's sink our teeth into this and get our feet wet.
So we did that, which was really, really crucial to our success, which we didn't realize at the time. We were building an audience for something before we even opened it. And that was a goal for when we did open, in fact. So in that process, we got on the map. People knew about us, people wanted to book with us.
And so then it was time for me to tell my company, hey, it's time for me to put both feet on the ground here in the Azores and really believe in my project. So I said goodbye to stable income, which was a big leap of faith, and my husband had already quit, so neither of us had any income coming in. And we started the project and everything was about, let's hurry up so we can open and be ready for the high season. So that was our timeline. And everyone told us we had consultants and whatnot, telling us, you guys are a shoe in the box, you're definitely going to get this funding.
Everyone has gotten it before you, and your project is the best we've ever seen. So we went ahead and prepaid some of the construction. We decided, well, we should start the construction now because we want to be open in time for the high season. So we started construction with our own money. And these construction bills were really big dollars.
We're talking about like, well, Euros, of course, but they were at large amounts of money. And so our bank account was very quickly going down, down and down. And so then we were supposed to hear back on the funding and nobody could figure out why they were so delayed. I mean, everything here is delayed. It's Portugal, but it was very delayed.
And we ended up finding out that due to nothing to do with us or application, basically the program that we applied to didn't get funded that year. And so it was above us, it was beyond us. It had nothing to do with our project. That program just didn't get funded. And because we had already started construction, we couldn't then go backtrack and apply to another program.
So here we were, like maybe a third of the way through our massive construction project, which was more than the value of the property. And our place was a disaster. Like, it was a major construction site, which we had actually been living on at the time, which was interesting. And then we tried to get a loan and nobody would lend us money. I mean, it's a very different climate.
I think post 2008, Portugal was especially conservative, and so they didn't care what schools I went to, they didn't care what education I had. They just wanted three years of operating history. And so we literally put our entire life savings into the project. Our bank accounts went down to below 1000, which was so scary. And I started to look at pulling out my four hundred and one K and our retirement plans, which, you know, I had from my previous jobs.
And so that period was awful because I had stepped away from stable income, and then we just hit one roadblock after another. We couldn't get the money. And then the delays in the construction, the timeline kept getting pushed back and back and back and back. And so we missed the opening of high Season. We missed all these things.
I felt like I was turning away business every day because people were emailing saying, hey, when are you open? I heard about you from so and so. I really want to come visit, and we're not open yet. And it just was so upsetting, and I was, you know, honestly, I was miserable. I felt like I had left behind a successful career, and I was really angry at my husband.
I felt like, what the heck did you get me into? You know? And it was a rocky time for us. I remember I was really upset, not to mention I was living in a new culture, in a new country with a new language, and it was a lot. And how old were you at this time?
So this was seven years ago, six years ago. So I was let's see, I was 35. 36. Okay. And how many years were you guys married?
So we had been married just two, three years. We got married in 2013. And so, yeah, it was the honeymoon period cut short, I guess, right? I mean, so this is what I want the listeners to really think about and really think about this. And you really expressed that so beautifully because you painted the picture of your parents came over from India, so we understand that they wanted and expected something from you.
Right? You did all of that. You got the job that you loved, you really were excited about. You fell in love. You fell in love.
You took a leap of faith. You fell in love with another culture. You left everything that you knew and was comfortable with, which I'm sure and take me through this a little bit, but I feel like sometimes, especially on this podcast, when I speak to people that are very high achievers and I don't want to say perfectionist, because I feel like perfectionism has a negative kind of connotation. And that's not what I mean. But when you achieve at such high levels to take a risk like you did and to put your faith into someone else and then having it not work, that can make or break someone, what do you think gave you kind of the tenacity and grit to be like, okay, I'm in this and I'm going to see it through?
Yeah, that is a great question. So, honestly, I think what happened when I moved here and started this business and by the way, the business is a lodge and learning center, and we also host yoga retreats. I'm also a yoga teacher. And so I think when I came here, what really grounded me and what was the motivation for my moving here was my practice. And when I got onto this land, I really felt a much deeper invitation into connecting with spirit.
Whether you call it God or you're wise yourself or universe or goddess, for me, I just say higher self or even wise yourself. Those are the terms I use. And so I really felt called to connect with that part of me because I was so upset. And while I was acting out of anger, like for example, I was really upset with my husband. I remember expressing my frustration and of course for him, he felt bad.
Of course he felt bad. And then I was actually saying out loud what he was worried about and so he was really upset. And I was able to even, almost like step outside and see myself being not my best self, not my wisest self. And it was in those moments that I started to ask myself, why did I act out that way? What am I concerned about?
And I started to part of it was Joel, my husband would tell me, look, it's going to work out like we did plan for this. And that's true. Being the type A perfectionist, I will say that I think that identify with that in mind as a term. But I created so many Excel spreadsheets, so many worst case, best case, most likely. And we did have this as a potential.
It was our worst likely and it happened, which is a good thing that we planned for it. But what we did was we pivoted. We made a small investment into a Jeep and we started doing tours which didn't require us to have a lodging facility completed. We could just have a Jeep. We got the license in place.
That was pretty straightforward. And then we took people on hikes, we planned their itineraries, we introduced them to people in places. And this is before the Azure's were on anyone's radar. You know, this is 2015, 2016. And so that also led to more people following us, more people being on our newsletter.
And so it was, I think, being able to direct my energy into something, along with being able to get grounded in the practice of connecting to my wiser self and connecting the spirit and realizing that OK, it's going to be fine. I just have to trust. I just have to believe that it'll work. And let's see, in worst case scenario, I always thought worst case scenario, I can go back to the United States and get some job. Somebody will hire me.
Somebody will hire me from somewhere. Oh my gosh. I love the way when people see the videos back though. I am smiling ear to ear because it is so important that we trust with ourselves. We trust what we truly believe is our calling.
And you truly believed that this was your calling. When did you get into your practice? Into yoga? Yeah. Well, actually when I.
Was, like, 1616 years old. My dad brought home Ianggar's book, and I remember being like, oh, I can do a headstand. Let me do that. Because I was always an athlete. I know as you are.
I was always an athlete. I was in the track team. I was a track star. I got MVP. I was, like, outstanding senior athlete.
I was all these things. And so then I got into yoga from my dad, and it ended up becoming a practice, a really, like, five times a week kind of practice when I was in college, when I was in college. And then that continued. I got my teaching, my first teacher training before I went to business school. And then it was during business school that I actually taught at a local gym in Cambridge.
And it was then when I started working, that, of course, I didn't have the time because my company said, you're not going to teach yoga. We just got drinks with the CFO of this hot new tech company. You need to ditch that yoga class. Right? And I think it's so important.
And a lot of times we'll have guests on, and I'm always wowed by the tenacity, the grit, like, okay, you're at this low. What got you to kind of dig yourself out of it? And a lot of times there is an athletic background, and I do really feel, and I know my listeners that will call me afterwards or text me or email me and say, well, I don't have an athletic background. And it makes me sad. I wish I did, because I can hear it.
I can hear when people do, because when you are an athlete, when you play a sport or do anything, especially at a young age, you learn so many things about what you can do and what your body and mind are capable and how you can push yourself in a certain way. And it's almost like this game that we do with ourselves. I know with myself, even as I got older, like, okay, can I do this? Am I in shape enough to do this? Can I not work out and then jump into this?
What will that do to my body? And, you know, we learn sometimes. I used to learn the hard way. My sister used to train before our sports in high school. She would always do the summer training, and I never did.
I was like, no, no, I'm not doing it. I'll just jump right in. And I always would jump in, and she would get so frustrated with me because she would say, how are you still the fastest? I sprinted, even though I played field hockey and lacrosse. I did winter track, and I was very, very fast.
And she would be like, I don't understand it. And it used to make her so angry. However, I would always kind of peek in the middle, and I mean, the beginning in the middle, and by the end, I maybe had an injury or I wasn't as good, where she would slowly go, and then at the end, she would always have a better ending of the season. Except there was one season that I kind of kept there with her, and we both had, like, a fantastic ending of our seasons, and we actually did it together, which was exciting. She was a freshman and I was a junior.
But it's interesting to see when you push yourself and what your body can do and is it mindset. And I was just talking to someone on my podcast yesterday. We did a live show about a lot of times our bodies can do so much more. It's our minds that hold us back. Absolutely.
Can you talk a little bit to that? Yeah, gosh. I feel like the movement piece okay, so I guess I wouldn't have said this when I was six years old, but I know now that I have a very active mind for somebody who's a type A achiever, whatever. And for me, the movement was what kept me grounded. And I had to be moving.
I had to be moving. And I remember there was a time when I was running track in high school, and I had to I got close to the school record for the 100 meters hurdles and talking about mind over body, I remember my coach had prepped me, that the next race you do, you're going to break that record. You're just I think it was a few tenths of a second off of the school record, which had been set, like, 15 years before me. So it was a long time ago. And I remember getting ready for that race, and guess what?
There was no one to race against that particular day. We had to meet against another school, and no one else was racing the 300 meters hurdles. It was just me. So I remember I had to believe in because it helps to have someone to push yourself against, because then you're like, oh, I just got to get in front of her. Oh, I totally hear this.
And having done the training, part of it was believing that I had done the training, which, of course, I had that whole season, but so much of it is believing. And I actually imagined the whole time I was running that day. I remember that race so well, like it was yesterday. I imagined somebody running right in front of me the whole time. I imagined somebody and I remember her ponytail wagging along as she was imaginary running in front of me.
And I was just going, like, all out to catch her and to surpass it. And I finished the race and, oh, I actually get emotional thinking about it. I was just like, she's so chilled. Yes. The coach was just like, you did it.
And I remember oh, I was in so much pain. I couldn't even walk. But it was amazing. And I did do it, and I don't know if it's still there, but I remember when I went back for my was at my ten year high school reunion. I still have the record at my ten year high school reunion, which now is a while ago, but still still incredible.
Knowing no, that's incredible. But I love the picture you just painted because it is so important and I totally got teary there too, and really the chills. Because when you have a goal and you're right, it's so much mind over body, body versus mind, there's so many different things there. So you just painting the picture and everyone seeing that you're this type A high achieving person that went into an experience that you had nothing to, you know, nothing to know. And really, a lot of times when people are again, this is my experience on the podcast, when they're high achieving and type A, sometimes they don't.
It takes them a long time to be like, OK, I'm just going to jump in with 2ft. But I do think when you have an athletic background and you're used to like, okay, I didn't win that. I won that, I didn't I had to push myself. I can trust my body. And you get this confidence that is a very different confidence.
It's almost like a life confidence that you get when you see what you can do physically and mentally. And it's very different than what you can do in school and what you can do here. And so you can see that. You can really see that. That's what kind of drove you to be like, okay, I'm going to pivot.
We're going to start this, you know, now this other career until we do what we're meant to do. So take us through. As this starts growing, the tourism starts growing with your Jeep. Yeah. So we had the side business that we were able to do something, and interestingly, we would sometimes people would say, well, can we just see the property?
We understand it's a construction site, but can we just stop by and take a look? And we brought people over and to us it was a construction site, right. But to other people that came, every single person came and was absolutely blown away. And they thought they could see our vision. It was so special to be able to have your vision reflected back to you, because sometimes when you're so in it day after day, you can start to lose sight of what you're going after and then to be Riminded of that.
And those people, many, many, many of them have actually come back since that day where they visited us and we were just a construction site. Some of them have come back even three times. And this is since 2016, and so just in a few years. And so anyway, we ended up opening. We finally finished the construction.
It was 2017 when we officially opened. Our business model changed so much over those years because originally our whole scene was hiking, food and yoga. How can we connect people to place where we take people on a hike, get to introduce them? Joy growing up here, he's also a certified hiking guide. So getting to connect people to where they are.
Me teaching yoga, and of course, connecting to the land through local and in season food. And that just honestly really took off. We started hosting some groups and retreats. We had independent travelers as well, so we were on airbnb and booking.com. And when we got to 2020, we were totally full for the year.
For 2020. We were so excited. And we thought, gosh, in three years, we've hit the mark that we never thought. Usually they say it takes three years to get into that cruising state for a new business. And we were actually profitable in year one in terms of operating expenses being less than operating revenue, not counting our investment.
Okay, so not looking at ROI. And so what was interesting was while we were going into 2020, I remember thinking I outlined video Course because I wanted to start to share the story of, hey, we created a life for ourselves where we are happy and content and we're successful. We get to go grocery shopping in our backyard, we get to do what we love and we lead a great team and we'd hired people to work with us. And I was in the process of outlining that video series when 2020 March 2020 hit and the pandemic started and everybody was freaking out. And that's when, again, I had this big, like, what did I get myself into?
Moment. But this time it was really bad. And it was especially bad, I think, because I felt like I was holding space for so many other people because I teach local yoga classes and I also teach students who come from overseas here, I felt like I had to hold it together for everyone. So I don't think at the time I really gave myself space to feel everything that was going on. So that was, in retrospect, not the best, but I did recognize that, okay, we have been through worse.
We got through not getting any funding. We got through thinking that we were going to have to move back and start over from scratch. And so I think we can get through this. Like, let's just have the faith. And that led to another Pivot, which was taking that outline of how do leaders define success in a way that is aligned with their values.
That Course became the mindful business leader, which is the foundation of my corporate work now, where I now work. I went back to the companies that I used to work with for real estate consulting, and now I work with them on leadership and employee engagement, which. Is so I mean, your pivots are so inspiring because you really listened and listened to your gut, listen to the universe, God, your higher self, whatever it was to be like. Okay, I'm just going to go right? And I'm in a space, I feel like I'm being tugged.
Let me listen. Let me find what's next for me. Let me see where this is going to lead me. And you really did that, and it's so beautifully done. So take us through a little bit now, what you're doing, and then I do want to get into I know you guys hold retreats and share all that, but so what are you doing a little bit more?
What year did you go back into the corporate and then see where you can help them become better? Well, it started in 2020. It's actually a good story because it came as a result of a woman who had signed up to come on a retreat where I was going to be coleading. And she basically, once she demanded she get her money back, which was normal. I mean, it was a panic for everyone.
And our retreat was literally supposed to happen, I think it was March 17 or something of 2020. And the ban between us and Europe went in just days before. And so we really were in a tight spot with the refund on that one. So I remember talking to her and trying to find a solution, and I said, Look, I can teach anything. Why don't you put something together?
And I'll let the proceeds go to you so that can cover some of your costs now, because, frankly, we were worried we weren't going to be able to keep the lights on in our business, and we didn't want to lay off any of our staff. This was their job that fed their whole families here.
She ended up introducing me. She works at the University of Toronto. And so I put together a course for Masters students, a course I had never thought I would put together called Selfregulation in a Time of Crisis. And the content just flooded through me. It was a perfect combination of my business acumen and all the stuff I had learned from that pressure to perform, World, type A, go be better, get more World, with the yoga, meditation, spirituality, groundedness, being a steward of the land, it was a perfect blend.
And I just remember that content just came out in an instant. And that course then led to me having some credibility to go to other companies. And I ended up working with and I've been working with PepsiCo Global for almost two years now, which has been an amazing ride, as well as other Fortune 500 companies. And that has led to me realizing that, okay, what is the biggest message that I can get across to people, whether they're leaders or whether they're in corporate or whether they're entrepreneurs? Because I started to feel a little bit spread thin, to be honest.
I started to feel like tourism came back. We had guests in 2020. We even had guests in 2021. Not a lot. But this year, 2022 was a banner year.
We had more guests. And these ares suddenly became on everybody's radar. And so I started to feel, wow, I can't be all things to all people. And so how do I do this in a way where I still honor my values? How do I still be happy and content and successful and not get back to the lifestyle that I left, which was burning both ends of the candle?
And that's when I started working with a colleague of mine, Samantha Anderson. She and I were supposed to host a retreat together back in 2020, and she and I kept in touch the entire pandemic. She was in New York City at the time, and we both realized that we kept coming back to the chakra system. And now you started with my name, Raimi Chakra Borti. And it's interesting, chakra is part of my name, and it does have to do with the chakras, which are the energy systems in our in our body.
And Samantha's a functional health coach, and her way in was through herbs and food, and mine was through the yoga, the meditation, and some of these practices that really get us to bring ourselves into balance. So, like, for example, if you're go go going and you keep reacting to all the things on your to do list, and you never stop, and then you're craving sugary foods, and then you might have these gut issues because you just are never giving your solar plexus, which is your gut, literally a break. It's overactive, right? That's one example. Or like the throat chakra, somebody who might talk incessantly and not know how to listen may also have a thyroid issue, for example.
And so we started to make these connections, and we cofounded a framework that helps us bring together these physical symptoms with our emotional health, like how we're feeling and some of the feelings of, am I enough? What do I reach for? Is there more? And also with our leadership behavior, like, how are we showing up? As are we strong in ambition and grit, or are we strong in compassion and empathy?
And that really helped me organize all of my ideas that I felt like because I had spread myself in mostly as a way to get out of this fear of, oh my gosh, we put our life savings into the tourism business, and is there tourism anymore? And then suddenly everything, all the buckets were full. So this gave me a framework to really follow myself and to realize that this is the essence of what I'm here to teach. This is where I can take all of my experience and how I can really shape the way we lead and shape the way we think about success traditionally, maybe it's different than health. You might think, oh, I'm successful, but I need to suffer in my health, or I need to not be a mom to my kids.
I need to find they're always raised by babysitters, for example. I know people who think that deep down, but can you be successful and happy and healthy in that intersection? And that's really where I'm here and what I'm working on now. I love that, oh, my gosh, my smile. I'm just with chills because it's so important and it's so needed, and I just love how you found it.
And really, again, you followed your intuition. You followed what you felt was what you did. And I can see you on the track field, right, with the girl with the ponytail, the imaginary girl, and kind of leading your life that way and being like, okay, I'm going to follow this. Where do I go? And so many people don't let themselves do that daydreaming, that meditation, I call it daydreaming.
Like you, I always have to be moving. And when I'm moving is when I come up with my best ideas. It's when I come up with, okay, where am I headed? And like you, but in a different way because of how many failures I had in school and how many times I had teachers say to me, you just have to try harder, just like you do on the athletic field. You can be a good student.
You're not working hard enough. Stop being distracted time and time again where I would use that and be like, you know what? I am going to do something because I have the faith and the confidence in myself because of what I could do. I really feel what I could do on the athletic field. Also because of my parents and I had friends, and people were always encouraging, and I had some really big strengths.
I had some really big weaknesses, but I didn't focus on the weaknesses as negatives. I really now look back and see that I use those weaknesses to kind of navigate life and to get strong and have that grit. And so I love that you took your path and just really kept creating it. But a lot of it also, if you listen, if people are really listening to this, there's a lot of service in your heart. It's about how can I help others with my really what you were made for.
And so I think it's so beautiful. It really comes across. So thank you so much for sharing all that you just did. Take us now a little bit through the retreats and where people can find you. Yeah, okay.
So I am just putting out I think by the time this episode is out, the calendar will be up, but I'm putting out the retreats for 2023. One is coming up over President's Day weekend in the United States so it's a weekend retreat, and people can stay longer, of course, for sightseeing, as I'm sure people will want to, but it's a way to go into some heart healing. So San Miguel Island is the green island and green is the color of the heart chakra, and the island is the green island because, well, when you come here, which I'm sure you will, there's like 50 shades of green. I mean, it's so abundant and verdant and lush. And that retreat is really going to be a chance for me to share some of the key tools that have led me to where I am, because I think so many people are either overwhelmed or numb to what's been going on in the last few years.
And one of the things that, as you mentioned, following my intuition, a lot of it too, was just realizing that, hey, if I can do anything I put my mind to, and if I say this is the goal, I'll get it. I started to realize, well, who am I to decide those goals? Can I be led by the heart and have the ego and the mind follow rather than the other way around? So that's coming up in February. And then the Retreat, that is going to be a book that Samantha and I are writing together that I mentioned.
We're going to be hosting a retreat sometime next year as well, and we'll be getting dates on the website. So when you share with your show notes for folks to see, they can check that out. And also when we don't host retreats, we just host independent travelers. So folks are interested in coming more as a sightseeing trip, but with the opportunity to join a hike with us, that is something that they can come to. But the Retreat does give folks an opportunity and it gives me a chance to really share some of the deep, deep learnings that I've been through myself.
And I always believe that you can only take people as far as you yourself have been. And I feel grateful to have been through, to have been through the experiences I've been through and now really ready to share what I can to be of service, to be of service, to elevate consciousness. That's my biggest mission. Beautiful. And can you share with your website one more time?
Yeah, it's just rimichakra.com. So it's Rimichakra.com. And I think it's so beautiful that your last name really kind of embodied who we are. Now, did you take your husband's last name or was that your family's last name? No, it's my family's last name.
It's interesting. That's what I thought. I was always very adamant about keeping my last name, and my husband was totally on board with that, which is great. I didn't know why at the time. And it's funny, I do think our names have a lot to do with why we're here.
And so this feels very repetitive I'm so happy. I think we connected on LinkedIn if I'm not right. We did. Yeah. I found you and your incredible work and listening to some of the inspiring stories that you've shared through your other podcast guests, and I was just like, I got to speak to this incredible lady and meet the woman behind the magic.
Thank you so much. And I'm so glad you did because your story is really I mean, I'm literally going to leave today, and any friends that I talk to, they always know. I usually share what my guest was, but this was just such a heartwarming, wonderful journey. And the way you share your story is as much as there was. You know, you had some really hard times.
I mean, really hard times. And you can see that and feel it, but then you can feel that you know that there is something bigger for you on the other side and everything that you're doing is there. And I'm so glad that we're connected and I know one day I will definitely be coming visit you. And I'm just excited. So thank you for joining your next stop.
Yeah, no, thank you. What an honor. And I do hope anyone listening remembers that whatever hardships we face, that we really can get through them. And it's a learning experience. And if you can believe that we are more than just whatever's happening to us, we are more than our thoughts, then at least that perspective has helped me in the way that it's helped me bring me where I am.
So thanks for asking the questions. Yes. Beautiful, beautiful. Well, you guys, you know what to do. And you might listen to this episode and say, wow, I love that story.
But someone needs to hear this story. They need to hear what Rimi has gone through and her family and where she started, the education she had, the journeys and Pivots that she has taken is going to help someone stories connect us. I say that all the time. And they truly, truly do. There's someone that's going to listen that was a track star that maybe is like, wow, this is so interesting.
There's so many connections and correlations and you have to share this. So take this, like, share rate and review following me and all what she is doing and then also share this episode with as many people as you can and we will see you again for another episode of Your Next Stop. Thank you so much. Again. I hope you liked this episode of your next stop.
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