INSPIRER – INFLUENCER – WOMEN ENTREPRENUER and an incredible human being. I cannot imagine starting off this series with anyone but her. She is a power house of talent and at the same time one of the sweetest most sorted out people I know. She is the force behind India’s first gratitude journal made using sustainable materials and 99% recyclable packaging. I own and have used the journals for a while and trust me when I say the attention to detail is just incredible. When I asked Alisha if she would be willing to be featured on the blog and share her journey with us, she graciously agreed and I am so grateful for that. So without further ado lets get right into it :
S : Tell us a little about yourself, and how this journey began.
Alisha : Practicing gratitude has been a part of my life ever since I was a kid. My mum played a very important role in starting me young and making sure I notice the small things, the small joys of life and express appreciation for them. Over the years of keeping up with this habit, it became a subconscious part of my life.
Every time something good happened or something worked in my favour, I always felt the deepest sense of joy and gratefulness. “Thank You, Universe” was (and still is) a part of my regular inner dialogue and I realized the more I was grateful for, the more I had to be grateful for.
Gratefulness made me content, it kept me happy, it helped me look at the Brightside of life and it also made my relationships with others and my own self a lot of better and stronger.
A few years ago I decided I want to put this practice to paper and start writing three things I’m grateful for everyday. I looked online for gratitude journals and did not find even a single one dedicated completely to gratitude. I’d mostly find daily planners with a small section for writing gratitude lists. So, instead of waiting for the perfect journal to come my way, I got myself a simple ruled notebook and started writing my daily gratitude entries in that.
I maintained this practice for over a year and let me tell you, it changed my life in more ways than one. I was living an abundant, happier, feel-good life more than ever before and I just knew I had to make this practice available to a big audience. And so, Brightside Journal was born.
S : Any road bumps that you hit while being in this field
Alisha : As small business owners, you encounter so many roadblocks as you go. You’re essentially a one or two person team trying to do everything from admin to social media to conceptualizing to packaging to fulfilment to customer service and there’s a lot that’s going on, on any given day. Personally, for me, delegation did not come easy. I wanted to do everything by myself because I knew my product and branding better than anyone else did. But this need to do everything also caused me a lot of stress and took away precious time I could dedicate to growing the business.
It was a steep learning curve but outsourcing my work (photography, design & fulfilment) has been rewarding and I’m grateful I get to work with people like who make this so easy, almost a cakewalk
S : Positivity is the need of the hour and Positive Affirmations should be a way of life any idea on how we can implement them in our daily life?
There are several ways to inculcate positive affirmations into your life. My favourite way is to:
- Get clear on what you want down to the specific details
- Write all your goals and desires on a piece of paper or in your journal
- Take some time out either at the beginning of your day to at the end of your day to read them out loud
- While reading them, pretend as if you already have these things in your life — feel the emotion, feel the joy that you would get from actually having your desires come true.
- Once done, get on with your day. With affirmations it’s important to “set it and forget it” and not obsess over it.
Most importantly, truly believe that you are worthy of your dreams and they will come true and materialize at the right time. Have patience and trust the timing of your life.
S : Things/Places/People that you draw inspiration from, for your work.
Alisha : I am inspired by people who bring value to the world and are passionate about what they do. Also, customer feedback and positive comments inspire me to do more and better.
S : Along With a very successful small business you are also a very influential social media name . Would you like to share any tips on handling your social media that have helped you have not one but 2 very successful accounts.
Alisha : Thank You! I’m so glad you think so
Staying true to myself and having my authentic voice has helped me create and have the community I have today. People should know you for something and trust you for it. The trust takes years and years to earn and is worth every minute of your patience.
My biggest tip would be to stay real and grounded. Show your beautiful vacations, gorgeous house, amazing relationship all you want, but also shed light on things you struggle with or parts of your life that are not so perfect. I think it helps you create a deeper connection with your audience. Also, whenever possible, use your voice to stand up for things that you care about or something the world and your community will benefit from.
S : One thing that you figured out later on in your journey which made you a better entrepreneur that you wish you had known earlier
Alisha : That entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint.
Every single day you need to be consistent with your practices, with providing value to your customers and continue doing your revenue-generating activities. You need to put in the daily reps and stay patient to see results.
I realized it only after a few months into business that pacing myself is important. Overworking will only result in a quick burnout.
S : Any tips on how you use social media to grow your business?
Alisha : For @brightsidejournal we love curating and creating bite-sized content that is easy to digest and that our community can learn something from. I want our posts to leave them feeling empowered and uplifted. People should come and feel positive or learn something of value. It’s the mainstay for our business.
I also love having conversations with our community. To listen, to share and to take feedback — so important no matter where you are in your social media journey as a business.
S : What are the biggest obstacles posed to you by the pandemic? In terms of finding time, energy, inspiration and motivation to keep doing what you do?
Alisha : I wouldn’t say we faced many challenges per se apart from not being able to ship for a couple of months due to lockdown restrictions.
A lot of people turned towards creating feel-good rituals in their day to benefit their mental health during the pandemic and gratitude journaling became a huge part of it.
Personally, being a small business owner has forced me to think creatively about the ways I fit wellness into my day. Carving out simple moments, be it through a walk in nature or a long bath or journaling or cooking up a storm in the kitchen has helped me keep my energy levels up and feel uplifted through these times.
S : Lastly, one quote that inspires you and has stayed with you over the years!
Alisha : The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion. — Paulo Coelho
Thank you so much Alisha for sharing your journey and experiences. I for one feel so inspired and positive just reading through it. You can follow Alisha’s journey here and that of Brightside Journal here.