Gitanjali is a self-described “Possibilist”, neuroscience nerd, recovering perfectionist, CEO of High Definition You, and a woman on a mission!
She and her team have spent almost a decade delivering proven, science-backed High Definition coaching and training programs; rewiring the brains and awakening the wisdom of leaders and teams in companies such as AIG, Credit Suisse, HSBC and Allianz.
Recognised as one of the Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs in the UK, she was also awarded Best Coach in 2021. She holds certifications in Neuroscience accredited with the British Psychological Society and loves to experiment on the brains of her two small children!
Gitanjali is on a small mission to inspire 1 Billion “Possibilists” in her lifetime to be more curious than afraid.
She is also a member of Entrepreneurs Organisation London – a global network of 14,000+ entrepreneurs, all of whom operate businesses earning a minimum of US$1 million in annual revenue.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
Born in India, I grew up in Australia surrounded by my eight siblings! Initially I studied psychology, then trained and worked as an actress in New Zealand before segueing (as most actresses do!) into a sales role in banking! After weathering the global financial crisis, I ending up as Head of EMEA Employee Recognition at a global investment bank in London.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
Somewhat unexpectedly and rather reluctantly! A close friend, who was very senior in Talent Development, firmly encouraged me to take my experience (and subsequent studies!) into the world of leadership development. I was not so confident of my abilities (one of the reasons I’m on a mission to ban the word ‘Confidence’!)
How did you achieve awareness?
Introductions and referrals from my existing network and then word of mouth and referrals from clients. More recently via social media, in particular Instagram and LinkedIN as well as podcast and media interviews.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
I haven’t had any external funding, growth has been purely ‘organic’ with key advocates (as we call them!) sending clients our way.
What are the key successes?
Global reach, ‘pivoting’ when coaching and training had to go virtual, growing and onboarding a team and clients virtually.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
Personally – building the company on my own for the first seven years whilst having two babies and surviving a life-threatening illness!
Professionally – introducing clients to my HD Coaches for delivery so I can step into the CEO role.
Overcoming my people-pleasing, procrastinating, perfectionist tendencies and instead remembering I have an inner GPS designed to guide me.
What are your plans now/for the future?
I’m on a mission to democratise Coaching and that includes some pretty big numbers globally, giving access not just to the C-Suite but everyone at every stage to the life-changing transformative experience of coaching.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
Listen to people when they tell you what you’re great at; even if you don’t see it yet. Take a deep breath and begin; knowing that whatever you start with is enough and none of it will be perfect EVER! And the best way to learn is to fail and the best way to fail is with other people – clients included. It’s the fastest way to know what works and what doesn’t whether it’s pricing, products, platform or market.
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
Don’t overthink it and beware the contagious disease of “comparisonitis”: comparison is the thief of joy!
You don’t need confidence! To start, to grow, to go after bigger clients or a different market – for that you need curiosity and courage. Interestingly, curiosity and fear cannot coexist easily in our neural circuitry!
You have to be brave before you can be good – mistakes and growth definitely coexist! I wasted a lot of time and cognitive energy waiting to be good enough.
You can’t read the label from inside the jar – you have to seek feedback!
Overall, I find the minute I forget that I get to decide – that I can play, explore and create – is the minute that it all feels hard and overwhelming and that’s not what life (entrepreneurial or otherwise) is for.
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?
My Mum is incredible and she doesn’t have the slightest clue that she is! She literally worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. I ask myself everyday “How can I serve?” because of her example.
My children – their curiosity and play informs my work and my parenting and when we share what we’re grateful for over the dinner table they make me laugh and cry in equal abundance. (And my husband, who is currently cleaning up the glass from the lamp that said children just smashed downstairs whilst playing football inside!)
Oprah Winfrey – her quest for learning what it’s all about and sharing so others can create a richer experience of their lives inspires me to do the same.
Andrew Huberman – one of my favourite Neuroscientists who gives his expertise so generously on everything from the science of habits to sleep to play to longevity and beyond!
Michael Neill – my mentor and the catalyst for me understanding what it means to live from the ‘Inside Out’; his work shifted everything for me professionally and personally.
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
I asked my very first website designer to add the quote by Einstein: “Be a voice, not an echo” to my homepage and it’s still there, as much for me as our clients!
Anything by Rumi – including: “Live life as if everything was rigged in your favour”.
Mark Twain’s quote: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”
I sometimes end a talk with: “The same boiling water that softens the potato, hardens the egg”…Think about it…it’s never the circumstances, it is what we’re made of that makes the difference.
Brene Brown magnificently said: “You can choose comfort or you can choose courage, you cannot choose both”
And finally Nelson Mandela’s words : “It always seems impossible until it’s done” explains why I call myself a Possibilist!
What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?
Free coaching tips and inspiration: https://highdefinitionyou.com/yesplease