You Don’t Have to Burnout to Change Your Life: Priyanka Venugopal’s Path from ObGyn to Entrepreneur

Picture of Priyanka Venugopal, ObGyn, Unstoppable Mom Brain

This week on the Courageously Unconventional podcast, I’m joined by Priyanka Venugopal. I met Priyanka several years ago when I was working as a coach for physicians who wanted to lose weight. It was such a joy to coach her, and it has been SO fun and inspiring to watch her over the years go from practicing as a physician to becoming an entrepreneur. In this episode, you’ll hear more about her story of leaving medicine to create the Unstoppable Mom Brain coaching business, where she helps high achieving professional moms lose weight without a calculator, and create more sustainable ease at work and home.

Enjoy this conversation with Priyanka Venugopal!

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Full Episode Transcript

Transcript

Lynn Grogan [00:00:02]:

Lynn Grogan [00:00:02]:

Alright. Welcome back to the Courageously Unconventional podcast. Today, I have a special guest on the show, Priyanka Venugopal. Priyanka, thanks for coming on the podcast.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:00:10]:

I am so thrilled to be here, Lynn. Thank you so much for having me.

Lynn Grogan [00:00:13]:

So why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself, and then we’ll dive right in.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:00:18]:

I love it. So I am a board certified OB GYN turned weight loss coach for high achieving working moms, and I have adored Lynn for years. And so when I discovered, Lynn, that you were doing this podcast and you’re like, does anyone have an unconventional story? I immediately messaged you, like, yes, me. I would love to share my story, and I feel like you were definitely a part of it, especially in the coaching that you and I did together. So I just really love unconventional stories specifically because I think that it lets people experiment with getting off the treadmill of, you know, what we are conventionally taught is the quote unquote right way to be. So that’s what I do now. I stopped practicing medicine a year and a half ago completely, which was a huge deal for me personally because I didn’t leave from burnout. I wasn’t one of those physicians that I know there’s so many physicians that are just overworked and burned out.

I left simply because I felt more transformation as being a coach. I just loved it more. And so that’s been my journey, leaving medicine at some point along the way and then starting to become a full time entrepreneur.

Lynn Grogan [00:01:23]:

Well and that’s what I just remember distinctly about meeting you. So I was in a position where I was coaching you and, amongst other coaches being involved too. But you just, like, took to coaching right away. Like, what was it like first being coached?

Priyanka Venugopal [00:01:38]:

Yeah. You know, I think, first of all, I think it’s important to say that I didn’t know what coaching was until I just, like, heard about it one day. I would think I was just, like, in a Facebook group. And at the time, I weighed a little over 200 lbs. I had 2 kids. My daughter was my youngest was 7 months old, and I just was kind of at that place in my life where I had this good on paper life. I was a physician finally after years of study and trying, and I had a supportive husband and these 2, I mean, cute kids that annoyed me half the time. But I just felt frustrated, and I think that the the kind of underlying theme was like, is this it? Like, I worked really hard.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:02:18]:

This supposed to be it? And I think I felt really deeply frustrated that I had such trouble with weight loss and feeling comfortable in my body. And I was on Facebook and somebody mentioned, hey, have you heard about coaching? And somebody mentioned weight loss and coaching, and that was when I just heard about coaching for the very first time. And I just went down the rabbit hole of even understanding and learning that wait a second. The results that I have in my life, both on the scale, at work, and at home are not just because of me being disciplined or not. It was coming so much from my thoughts and I was so ready to have different results in my life that that’s why I think I came into coaching and into the coaching experience with this, like, eagerness. That’s what it was.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:03:05]:

I was so eager to better my life, to level up the areas that I wanted more results in. And I think that that’s what it maybe what you might have experienced with me as a client is I just was so eager. Like, if I got coaching, I was, like, open to the coaching. Even if it felt tough, I was, like, I’m here for it. Like, I’m just ready and willing to change, and I think that that’s why I had so much success with it.

Lynn Grogan [00:03:30]:

Yeah. And at you’re absolutely right. I do remember the eagerness, and there was always like, it doesn’t surprise me that your story has led you to, like, transitioning into running your own company because there was something about the way that you took to coaching, though, where it seemed to light something up in you that it’s like when it lights you up that much and it helps you out so much, it’s hard to ignore even if, like, everything else in your life is just like, no. Stay in your on the paper, beautiful life. Like, why would you ever change from being an OB GYN to anything else? Like, I just remember you being so lit up. Like, it doesn’t surprise me, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t hard to, like, change up from that.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:04:14]:

Yeah. And I think that a lot, you know, a lot of it for me why does it was even a struggle to consider it was because I didn’t hate my job. I think that, you know, a lot of people might leave their their previous professions. And for me, it was being a physician to become a coach because they hate their job. And for me, that wasn’t the case. I think what happened is when I started getting coached and I started experiencing small shifts, I think for me it started as a mom. So my son was I think one of the first topics that I got coached on. He was 3 at the time.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:04:47]:

He drove me crazy. I wanted him to be different than he was. I was, like, why can’t he just be like the other kids? I mean, I had so many thoughts. I wish I was doing more for him and I wish he was different. And I think that me getting coached on that part of my life, this is totally separate from weight loss.

Lynn Grogan [00:05:03]:

Mhmm.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:05:03]:

But me getting coached as, you know, on my life as a mom changed me as a mom, and it just it changed our relationship, like, me and my son. And to me, I think I felt the gravity of that. I I felt the gravity of me changing my relationship with my son. This is a lifetime of change that now he gets to experience. We just change the trajectory of our family just because of coaching. And I think what started to happen, and this wasn’t intentional, but it wasn’t like a conscious thing. It was, like, very subconscious and slow burning as I started to see different parts of my life start to shift like that. So it definitely started versus a mom.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:05:42]:

Then as a wife, I remember like, you know, me and my husband are polar opposites. I started to just, like, change how I showed up in the relationship. Definitely me as a physician and then, of course, you know, weight loss. I lost so much weight without counting points and calories and all of that. And I think that I I started to feel the impact of a trickle into every corner of my life and it was so hard to ignore. And then I started bringing that practice and that way of being to my practice as a physician. Like, I would kind of have this half and I, you know, I also have to say, I kind of think I’ve always been a coach. I didn’t have the title of coach, but I think that’s I’ve always had a coach’s heart.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:06:19]:

And so when I started getting coached actually, I was like, oh, this is this is a thing. There’s a way to do this. And I started to fold some of that into my practice as a physician. So it felt very natural for me. 

Lynn Grogan [00:06:32]:

Yeah. I imagine your patients started noticing it pretty quickly. It’s like when you’re treated differently, you’re just like, wait. What is happening here? Like, how like, what is this relationship? So, but I do think it’s worth talking about that part of, like, not being burnt out in order to change things. Because I know I’ve had moments in my life too where I’m just like, I wish things would just get really terrible in order for me to change it, and then taking a step back and being like, oh, wait, or you could just decide to change. But like, what? Like, I imagine a lot went into that transition from having, like, an established practice to that becoming, you know, like, having your coaching practice. So, like, what was that like for you?

Priyanka Venugopal [00:07:13]:

Yeah. So I first discovered coaching in 2019, and then I started my business in 2020, the unstoppable mom brain. And my plan when I first started unstoppable was not to leave my job. My plan at the time was, like because, again, I spent I mean, to be honest, there was some sunk cost fallacy situation happening where I’m like, I spent decades, you know, becoming a physician, like, there was not even a thought in my mind to leave. But I just was like, this coaching thing is pretty phenomenal and pretty amazing. And how fun would it be to specifically work with high achievers and working moms? Basically, like, people like me. I really identified as a high achiever and a working mom, and it’s like, I wanna really help those people. So initially for quite a while so I started my business 2020.

For almost 2 years, I was doing both. I was practicing as a physician, and I had my business on the side. And I wanna say it it didn’t feel like a hobby. It really felt like I was putting my heart fully into it. And I think what started to happen along the way is I started to feel this pull towards my business. I started to feel more of a pull towards my business. And so it’s not that I was pushed away from my work. I just felt more of a compelling pull.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:08:30]:

And what I think started what is what I started to notice is being an entrepreneur while in some ways it’s harder than being a physician because it’s me and I get to think about my business all the time. I felt like I had so much more agency. I got to just call the shots of my life in a way that I never got to experience as a physician. You know, in practice, I had to follow the office schedule. And if the office manager said, no, you’re not allowed to have that day off, I had to basically say, okay. And there was a call scheduled and I had to show up at the hospital at specific times that I can go on and on around how administration and hospital policy and office policy dictated my responsibilities, my time, my work, my pay. And I didn’t realize at the time how constricting that was. I just accepted it.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:09:19]:

But I think when I had the side by side, I started to see, wait a second. Being an entrepreneur following this dream actually might open up so much more for me. So what would it look like if I leaned into that and trusted myself? And this was the hard part. Trusting myself when I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know how it’s gonna go. Trusting myself to lead with that come that passion for coaching and knowing that if I missed being an OB GYN and if I missed practice, I would find a way back.

Lynn Grogan [00:09:51]:

Yeah. Okay. I have so many, like, things that came up while you were saying that. But, I mean, first off, off, I’m sure somebody who’s listening to this is probably like, wait. How did you, like, how did you practice medicine alongside coaching and being a mom and, you know, being a part of a community and, like, all the other things, like, what did that look like on the day to day?

Priyanka Venugopal [00:10:12]:

So when I was doing both, you know, being in practice and having, a business, I had to be really cognizant of my time. So it wasn’t like I was just working on Unstoppable Mom 24/7 all all times of the day. I was really deliberate around, you know, when my kids are at school or when the nanny was with my daughter. These were the short periods of time that I got to focus and I work with my clients and then definitely in the evenings. So because I had both of these jobs, when my kids would go to bed, you know, my husband might be watching some Netflix and I would be on my laptop, like, tinkering with creating a website, like, looking up YouTubing, like, how to make your own website. And, you know, everything was a DIY project for me at the time. So, like, how do you figure this out? And because I wanted it so much, I think that that drove me to work like that. I also don’t think I could have sustained that type of work forever.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:11:05]:

But at the time, I was just so excited about the idea of what Unstoppable could be. I was so excited about the vision for it and my vision really for high achievers and working moms. I was, like, willing to just at night and on the weekends, like, whenever the kids were napping or sleeping, little pockets of time was where I think I created a lot. And I also came in with the lens. If I have just a short period of time, I just focused on needle movers. So I didn’t think about, like, let me go print business cards. Like, that was not a thing that was on my radar. I was like, let me focus on just the needle movers that really put my message in front of more people.

Lynn Grogan [00:11:47]:

I like that phrase a lot because I think we all have that in our life. Like, even if somebody’s listening to this and they don’t, you know, they’re not like, okay. I wanna go start my own business or anything like that. But just even focusing on the needle movers in your day to day life because we’re all limited on time. We all have the 24 hours a day. It can either seem abundant or scarce or anything like that. So for you, it sounds like that was really impactful just to, like, focus on the things that we’re gonna move you forward. But, you know, like you just mentioned, this wasn’t gonna be sustainable forever.

So, like, what, like, move the needle all the way to quitting your practice and Right. Going all in on your business.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:12:24]:

So to be totally honest, when I was in it, I thought I could sustain it forever. Like, when I first started, I course you did. I didn’t again, like, my I I don’t even know what I was thinking. Like, I didn’t have a 3 year plan or a 1 year plan. I had, like, a for now plan. I had, like, a, I would say, like, a, like, a 6 month plan. I’m like, this is gonna work for the next 6 months, but I didn’t think really beyond that because, again, I was so new to being an entrepreneur. I have, like, always had such an a, b, c, d step like, a stepwise protocol driven brain, but I didn’t think about the end.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:12:59]:

So the end was not in my mind at the time, but it was towards the end of 2021. I think it was, like, October, November of 2021 that I just started to notice in my practice, like, specific circumstances came up where I was feeling extra constricted. Being told no for things that I really wanted to do that felt like, you know, through my lens, which I thought was fairly objective, but obviously, it’s not. It’s subjective. But, like, in my opinion, it felt like, you know, some of my asks felt really, really fair. Some of my requests felt really thought out, and I was being told no for things that I really wanted to do. And that was when I was like, you know what? I wonder if this is just like me getting a signal for following something else. And I think it was that moment that I had a conversation with my husband, and it was just like, oh, I wonder what it would even look like to not practice.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:13:55]:

I had not even considered what would it even look like to not practice being a physician because it had been part of my identity for so long. And I think just asking and answering that question, I just felt like my shoulders drop, my shoulders relax, and that was when I was like, you know what? I think that this is something I wanna do. And I probably sat with the question for maybe a week, not that long. I didn’t, like, sit and, like, dwell and ruminate and research on it, which I know that’s a tendency that I’ve had in the past as a high achiever, researching other things.

But I was like, you know what? I I am not going to do that. And I have to also say because my husband’s income really helps support our family too, that also made the decision much easier that I wasn’t the breadwinner for the family to lean into the decision more quickly. So I think that that’s an important point too.

Lynn Grogan [00:14:46]:

Yeah. Well and I think a couple things. Like, first, and I’ve seen this so much over the years is, I think there’s this idea that, like, with coaching that, like, oh, I can just coach myself to be totally fine working as a physician and also having this business on the side, which completely you can. But I think there’s also a moment where you have to take a step back and be like, but does that make sense? Is that what do I wanna coach myself around? What could happen if I actually take the leap and go all in in one direction or the other and see what happens? And, like, it sounds like that’s what you, like, finally let yourself even just go there.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:15:22]:

Yeah. And even what you’re referring to is, like, how do you know when to coach yourself on something and change your thoughts about your circumstances, which you can do anytime, any place, and have a better life, which is true. Versus how do you know when to change the circumstances? And I think that that comes from there’s like an inner intuition. I don’t know that, you know, there’s a and I can’t believe I’m even saying this because I would never have said this a few years ago. Like, there’s no protocol to know, to know, because I know we all love love a good protocol, but there’s no protocol to know how do you know when to make the change? I think that your intuition will guide you. The only thing that has ever gotten in the way of my own intuition is my brain. It’s like, you know, me really trying to logic myself out of something that I’m feeling. And I think that that also comes with practice.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:16:10]:

Practicing, listening to your intuition, and then getting really familiar with that gut sense of, like, am I making this decision out of fear? Am I making this decision out of trust? Am I making this decision out of love, out of confidence? Where is this decision coming from? And if it didn’t work out, this was a conversation I had to have. If it doesn’t work out, what will be my agreement with myself? What will be my agreement with myself? How will I talk to myself if it doesn’t work out? How will I be with myself? Will I have my own back? Like, how will I treat myself effectively, if if this was, like, the quote unquote wrong decision? And I think that me making the decision that I will have my own back even if it was a total fail, I think that that was also really important.

Lynn Grogan [00:16:56]:

Oh, I think that’s such an important part. I mean, it’s such an important point altogether because so many people I talk to is just like, well, how will I know if it’s gonna be the right decision, and what if I hate the decision? It’s like, you might do both. Like, you might Yeah. You’re never gonna know. It’s just a decision that you make that you just decide, like, I’m just gonna go in this direction. It’s gonna be the right decision for me. But I relate so much to what you’re saying because when I left my job, last year, I think it was a year ago, it was kinda the same thing where it was just like, I don’t absolutely hate this.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:17:27]:

Mhmm.

Lynn Grogan [00:17:28]:

I just feel more drawn to, like, hold towards something, and it was like a gut check on that. And I think if we’re all honest and, like, not honest, but if you look for it, it’s there. If you’re open to seeing it, it’s just that, like, sometimes, sometimes when we look, we’re kinda scared though, because it’s like, oh my gosh. I have to take action right away.

Lynn Grogan [00:17:48]:

No. We don’t necessarily. You could just look and know. And for you, it was like kinda sounds like within a short span of time,

Priyanka Venugopal [00:17:57]:

Yeah.

Lynn Grogan [00:17:57]:

You decided to take the leap. 

Priyanka Venugopal [00:18:01]:

I think it like, the time piece, it’s like it could take a day. It could take a year. I mean and and the time is like again, that’s just a circumstance that we put a lot of like, we overvalue time a lot, and I think it comes at a cost. The more we overvalue time, we stop making decisions, which is the real reason that things take more time. So it’s a little bit of this, like, kind of catch 22. It’s, like, you know, what comes first, the chicken or the egg type of thing. But what I have found at least in my work with high achievers, and this is my story as well, is we’re a little addicted to the feeling of certainty. We really want to feel certainty before we make a decision and our desire for the certainty, like our desire to feel so sure is the reason we feel uncertain.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:18:47]:

And so it’s what I think for me what it’s the way I think about it is, like, if I’m holding this really charged stick and one side is uncertain and the other side is certain and I’m like trying to feel certain, it’s just never going to happen because I don’t have the crystal ball. So the visual that I often think about is like, what would it feel like for me to just put the stick down? And what if that wasn’t a part of my equation? Like, uncertainty or certainty is, like, not even a part of this conversation I’m having. Let me just put the stick down and then move forward because it’s that addiction to the certainty that I think keeps us stalled for so long not to and this is with weight loss. This is as a parent. This is with work life. This is with making an unconventional an unconventional choice too.

Lynn Grogan [00:19:34]:

Yeah. Absolutely. And I imagine that even just hear somebody hearing you say that of like, oh, you felt uncertain.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:19:42]:

Yeah.

Lynn Grogan [00:19:42]:

And you made the decision anyway to go forward. I think it’s reassuring when we hear each other’s stories about, like yeah. I was filled with doubt and uncertainty and all these things. Because to be honest, like, you’ll feel those things, and then you’ll take the leap, and you’ll still feel those things. And it doesn’t mean that you made the wrong decision. It just means that you’re a human doing, like, scary things that seem scary, and you’re growing, and you’re out of your comfort zone. And they’re like, of course, you’re feeling those things.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:20:11]:

And also, like, when you really think about well, if you think about the last time that you did something that didn’t work out, like, the last time you made a mistake or like the made whatever. You know, the quote unquote wrong decision, it didn’t pan out. Like, you’re here right now. You clearly figured something out. So that I think is the part of, like, the having your own back piece. Like, even if this wasn’t the right decision, I would figure it out then. Like, you know, I think we as humans and I think especially women really do this where we doubt we want the certainty so much because we forget, wait a second, but I always figure it out.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:20:49]:

Even if it didn’t work out, I still figure it out. So that’s the piece that I think is an important sentence to attach to any decision. But, like, I will figure I always will figure it out even if it didn’t work out.

Lynn Grogan [00:21:00]:

Yeah. I love that. Absolutely. Because I think where we forget too is, like, okay. You made the decision to become a physician, and then you pivoted to, like, coaching moms. And if you decided, like, okay. Not this. Maybe there’s a piece of medicine that comes in.

Lynn Grogan [00:21:13]:

Maybe there’s a piece of coaching, and then it’s the next thing. I think we think it’s like a full stop. If I fail at this and I gotta go start over someplace else, maybe that’s the answer, or maybe it’s an iteration on the thing that you’ve just done. And now you’ve learned all these things. 

Priyanka Venugopal [00:21:30]:

You’re welcome. You don’t forget it. I think that the one, you know, hiccup that that did come up for me was, you know, and not just my parents, but I think anyone that was like, wait a second. What are you doing? You’re like, not gonna be a physician anymore. You’re gonna be a what? A coach? What’s that? What does that mean? And, you know, I think really interacting with and engaging with, you know, people in my life, like, friends and family in my life. I think that that was probably one of the hardest pieces of the transition personally because I have always felt, like, a little bit of a people pleaser at least, like, I have been for years and less so now. But it’s like I wanted to please my parents. I wanted to please my like, the people in my life, and I I think that that’s another thing that has also held me back.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:22:16]:

If I fail, what if they were right and I made this mistake, this idea of feeling embarrassed or ashamed that, like, I I made this huge mistake and I should have done it what I should have done what they said, like my parents or or friends and family. And I think that that’s the part also that I wasn’t aware of before before coaching. I think I just thought these were my own thoughts. Not that I was borrowing the thoughts of the people around me and what they believed I should be doing, what was possible for me. I think that was important to parse out.

Lynn Grogan [00:22:48]:

Yeah. Well, tell me the story about, like, talking to your parents about deciding that you’re gonna leave medicine and, like, pursue coaching full time. Like, what was that like?

Priyanka Venugopal [00:22:58]:

I think in the beginning when I when I started Unstoppable, it was like, oh, cool. That’s exciting because, you know, I was still still practicing. So it’s like, oh, amazing. That’s a beautiful website. Like, that’s like, you know, like my mom and my dad my dad is, like, so into this. Like, he’s, like, following me. He’s doing all kinds of funny things. And then, you know, it was at the end of 2021, I was, like, so planning on leaving.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:23:21]:

And I remember my mom, especially, was like, so are you sure? Like, maybe you wanna pick up a couple of locums shifts. Maybe you wanna, like, keep a toe. And I totally understand her point. Like, her intention, which is coming from a place of her way of loving me is, like, make sure you don’t forget how to be an OB GYN. Right? So, like, keep up keep your toe in the water, and I get it. And also I think at the same time, I just knew that that wasn’t for me. So I feel like it was probably really hard for her to offer that, and I was like, yeah, no, mom. I’m not doing that.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:23:55]:

Like, I can just imagine because I’m a mom. I can imagine if I have a really strong opinion with my children, they’re like, yeah. I’m not doing that. I can imagine how it must have felt for her. But, I was really fortunate because both of my parents are very supportive. And despite them giving me their advice, like, despite them being like, I don’t know if this is such a good idea. Like, they do come around.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:24:19]:

So I think it was an interesting a very interesting experience, but I, especially, think it was hard for her.

Lynn Grogan [00:24:25]:

Yeah. Well, how was it for you to hear that? 

Priyanka Venugopal [00:24:28]:

Yeah. Yeah. I think, you know, it made me it definitely made me have a little flicker of doubt. By little, I mean, a big big flicker of doubt. Like, oh, like, you know, my mom, this person that I know, love, and trust who has known me forever, she’s telling me to do this, like, to keep my toe in the water or to stay in practice. And I think that it did make me doubt, like, am I doing the right thing? And, like, maybe I shouldn’t do it this way. Maybe I should do what she is telling me to do. And I think the reason I didn’t was because I the belief that one out was she doesn’t really understand what I’m trying to do.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:25:06]:

That’s what it that’s all it was. She didn’t understand the vision that I had. And I think that, you know, from her scope of what she understands, it made sense. Her opinion made sense. But I was like, you know, it’s it’s okay for her to not know, and I do. So that was kind of how that the whole session out.

Lynn Grogan [00:25:25]:

What about other people in your life, you know, maybe weren’t so close to things? It sounds like your, that your parents were following along in your journey. Knew what you were up to along the way. They’d been brought along. But, like Yeah. What about other people?

Priyanka Venugopal [00:25:39]:

You know, I think that friends and I don’t know maybe if they were just, like, being kind or maybe maybe it was genuine. It’s hard to say because I feel like sometimes even in friendships, like, we wanna be the supportive friend. We don’t wanna say the thing that’s going to, like, offend the friend. But I feel like I definitely had some conversations around, like, wait, what are you doing? Wait. Why? What? That may like, a little bit of, like, that doesn’t make sense kind of like what my mom’s perspective was. But I will say for the most part that my friends have been supportive, I think, even if they don’t understand. That I think is is kind of what I’m taking away from the close relationships that I’ve had is even if they don’t fully understand, I think generally, they might ask a couple of questions or they might be a little bit confused. They might not even know, like, wait.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:26:24]:

What is coaching again? What are you what are you doing exactly? Do you miss being a physician? Do you miss practicing? I get that question a lot, especially from, like, my OB GYN buddies. Like, do you miss being in the OR? Do you miss seeing patients? And the answer is yes and yes. And I just love this more. Right? So I think that has been one half of it. The other half and this the this was a surprising piece is how many of my friends have been so inspired by me leaving, being like me leaving practice and starting my own thing. That was surprising to me. How many of they’re like, I cannot believe that you did this thing. It is so amazing. I wish I could do it.

Lynn Grogan [00:27:04]:

Why did you think why do you think that was surprising to you?

Priyanka Venugopal [00:27:08]:

I don’t know. I I think I just was so in the camp of the first one. Like, am I doing the right thing? This is such a huge deal. Like, physician was my identity for so long that I don’t think I’ve ever thought anything that I do is inspiring. I’m like, this is I mean, who am I to be inspiring? Like, I think I’ve had such, I used to have such little not little opinion of myself, but I didn’t think so. I didn’t think of myself as someone that was doing anything inspiring. I was like, I’m just following what feels right. And so that’s I think that’s what it was. I was like, is this is it inspiring? But I can see once they they share their thoughts with me, I can see why I can see why it is.

Lynn Grogan [00:27:50]:

Yeah. Well, I think people also have to be open to being inspired because it’s if your friends were immediately judgmental of you, they would block that part of themselves that maybe secretly wants to do something a little bit different too. Because it’s like, it’s almost protective to judge somebody and just being like, what are they doing? Why didn’t she stay in medicine? This is crazy. But that to me says that, like, you’re surrounded by people who, if they’re not doing it already, they’re secretly wanting to.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:28:15]:

Yeah.

Lynn Grogan [00:28:16]:

Yeah. And you just went first.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:28:19]:

Yeah. I think that that’s that’s what it is. And I do think that if there were any people in my life that had the the judgment or any of those kinds of thoughts, then it’s kind of one of those things where, you know, how friendships just change over time. And this is just true, I think, of all of us as we grow. But I think major events like this might reveal themselves more quickly, like, reveal themselves in relationships more quickly. And I think it just is is important to remember that every relationship evolves. It doesn’t mean, like, a friendship has broken or relationship has broken. It just evolved.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:28:53]:

And that I think is just growing, growing in general. I think that that might have happened anyway, but I was I was fortunate to have people surrounding me be be fairly supportive.

Lynn Grogan [00:29:06]:

Yeah. Well and, like, that’s, that’s the part where you just, like, you lean into those people. Right? You just, like, surround yourself, keep surrounding yourself with those people. What was coming up for you as you were thinking about quitting? And I imagine that your contract at work probably required you to stay maybe longer than you would have wanted to. But, you know, like, what was coming up for you as you’re making that transition?

Priyanka Venugopal [00:29:32]:

I mean, I still remember the call. Like, I texted the senior partner. I was like, can we get on a call today? And so we had a, like, a little group Zoom call, and I was just, like, crying. It was so I mean, unprofessional. I don’t know. This is my I wear my again, I wear my heart in my sleeve. So I was just crying, because I felt sad, I think, about leaving. And there was definitely grief with that too.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:29:58]:

So for me, there was two pieces. One was I felt sad and grief at this idea of not practicing anymore. And, like, am I really saying no to this big part of my life and my identity? And then I also had this, like, desire to just, like, stop. Now that I have decided, I wanna just, like, be able to move forward and, like, go all in, and just be a 100% with my business. But, yeah, there was, like I forget if it was, like, 90 days, 60 days. There was, like, some some amount of time that I stayed on.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:30:27]:

And I even after the fact, it was, like, you know, I’m happy to come in. I’m happy to help out. Because, again, we didn’t leave, you know, from my side. I didn’t I never felt like we left in a negative way. So, you know, it was it was a but it was a tough time because I felt this dichotomy of sadness and grief with this excitement to be moving on. And I think that sadness still comes up Every now and then, we’re like, oh, I still kind of miss certain pieces of that life, but it’s okay to feel sad about some of that stuff because I enjoy this more.

Lynn Grogan [00:31:07]:

Yeah. Well, and I think, like, that’s such a normal part of life. It’s like places you used to live or, like, you know, single life before you had kids or something. You’re like, there’s always gonna be pieces where it’s like, man, that part of it. Mhmm. I didn’t hate that part. I kinda love it. I kinda wish that was back again, but, yeah, I love this more.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:31:26]:

And just the clarity also, it’s like, that wasn’t enough of a reason for me to stay. And that’s something I’m learning even in my business. Just because something feels familiar or it’s, you know, something that I’ve done for a long time, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best thing for me right now. And that I think was a lesson I didn’t know of before becoming an entrepreneur. 

Priyanka Venugopal [00:31:52]:

Yeah. I think that I becoming an entrepreneur, the the part that has been the biggest personal growth for me is there is no right way. There is no protocol. There’s no a, b, c, d, e step, which is what I usually love. I love a good protocol. It’s been this, like, playground. You go and play on the playground and like there’s no rules. You just kind of go out there.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:32:13]:

You put your mission and your vision out into the world and you test a lot of things. You see what works, what doesn’t work, you make tweaks on what’s not working, and then you try again and you iterate again. And that has required me because I think of myself as a fairly rigid and stubborn person. It’s required me to learn flexibility. It’s required me to challenge my perfectionism. I have a lot of these, like, very all or nothing, you know, perfectionist thoughts. Like, I just I did my best. I don’t know if I can ever be better than that.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:32:43]:

And all becoming an entrepreneur has forced me to challenge all of that. And now the way that I think about my business and then by proxy now my life is if I was just in a growth mindset, if every single thing, every circumstance in my life was just an opportunity for me to grow, that means I can like, there’s nothing that has to be static and constant unless I want it to be. So I think that things that are constant in my life have been familiar. So, like, for example, if I’m using a certain platform, if I if I work with a certain team or if I’ve run my business in a certain way, it feels really comfortable for me. But then really evaluating, but is this working or is it not working? Am I willing to feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar as I challenge what’s not working? I think that that’s been that’s been hard for me, but also the best growth for me. 

Lynn Grogan [00:33:36]:

How do you know when something’s not working?

Priyanka Venugopal [00:33:40]:

I think that it just depends on defining it’s all results based. And the hard thing is defining what is a result. Like, you know, for example, with weight loss, one way of defining am I getting results is the pounds on the scale. Right? That’s just like one metric. But there’s probably 10 ways of quantifying and defining results. Percent body fat, how your clothes fit, how your body feels, maybe how heavy or light your gut is. Right? So there’s you can go on and on and define what are the results that you want. So that’s how I know.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:34:15]:

When something’s not working, I’m when it it’s when I look at results that I’ve previously defined, and I have a regular interval to evaluate them. So now in my business, and I never had this before. I never had this before in my life in general. I was evaluating my life. I was just living my life. I was just kind of going through. But now I have, like, a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly kind of audit for what are the results that I created this quarter? Is it what I wanted? Was this was this a part of my goal for this quarter? Did I hit it? And and it’s coming through the lens of complete curiosity. So there’s no judgment or embarrassment or shame.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:34:54]:

It’s like, did I hit my goals this quarter? What was it that worked? What didn’t work? Why? I wonder what created the delta here. Was it because I was wasting too much time scrolling on Instagram? Or, like, was it because right? It’s like, what was it? And then just be willing to make small tweaks.

Lynn Grogan [00:35:11]:

Yeah. Well, I mean, it really redefines failure. Because if it didn’t work, it doesn’t mean that you failed at it. It’s just, oh, I thought this was gonna be the result.

I thought this was the amount of effort that it would take or the approach that it would take, and that didn’t get me the result. Do I still want this result? And if I do Yeah. What’s for the next quarter, the next month?

Priyanka Venugopal [00:35:32]:

Well, I would say that the failure piece is the biggest thing that holds, I think, all humans back. This idea and this is again, especially with high achieving women, it’s just, well, that was my best and I failed or, like, I tried and I failed. And that implies that your best is not betterable. What most people forget is that was my best, And if we kept going into quitting off the table, my best is always betterable because humans are just designed to keep growing and learning. So if we stopped quitting and we kept iterating and learning and growing, just imagine what would happen to the result line. Like, it has to skyrocket. Like, there’s just it’s impossible for it to not.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:36:16]:

This is a big thing, especially for, you know, from for my clients, and I guess specifically coach and weight loss. I see this happen all the time, and this was me so I totally get it. It’s like, well, I’ve tried this or, like, you have, like, you know, maybe on a weekend binge or you forget yourself on vacation, you come back 2 lbs heavier. When you have the thought, like, see, there I go again. See, I failed again. It just reveals to me as a coach, like, oh, oh, you think that that’s your best and that it’s not betterable. So it helps to really direct the coaching. Right? When we are like, oh, you’re just thinking that your result is fixed.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:36:48]:

No wonder you’re not hitting goals because you have this relationship with results. Rather than if you stop quitting, it’s just inevitable.

Lynn Grogan [00:36:59]:

Yeah. Like, if quitting isn’t an option, and it’s just you just have this idea of yourself right now that this is your best. You just don’t know… unless you keep going just to see if there’s a different approach there. And, I mean, you’ll find it. And that’s what kinda what you’ve been saying all along is just, like, everything is figureoutable. Like, you’re going to figure it out if you just keep going.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:37:20]:

Yeah. Absolutely.

Lynn Grogan [00:40:45]:

Yeah. I was thinking, like, around the last question, what advice would you give somebody who is considering taking a leap into the unknown, doing something unconventional, changing their life?

Priyanka Venugopal [00:40:59]:

Yeah. I actually think about reverse engineering this this question. So if you flash forward 10 years from now, what decision would you be so grateful that you made? And once you kind of ask yourself, what would I be so grateful for having me? Which decision would I be more grateful for? Then you get to ask yourself what emotion would ever get in the way of me creating that, and am I willing to feel that feeling? But I think that that is the way that I operate now when I’m in the middle of a scare it feels, you know, feels scary. Right? There’s, like, some fear around this unknown or this big decision, especially if you’re going from something that’s conventional to not to just flash forward. I feel like our future selves have so much wisdom that we forget about. That’s like, wait a second, 10 years from now, what would be my dream life? What would be my dream decision? Forget 10 years. 1 year from now, what would be such a dream for me? What will I be so grateful for? Am I willing to feel uncomfortable right now to make that a reality? And then be willing to feel that discomfort.

Lynn Grogan [00:42:07]:

Well, and they think it’s like by asking yourself that question you flash forward, the stakes are lower because you’re like, oh, I’m already there. It’s like the pressure is off. You can kind of imagine that space. What would it be like? And then you’re like, okay. Well, what’s the road map to get there? It’s like it’s almost like you’ve created a safe space for yourself to think about your future.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:42:25]:

And then you can drive traffic back. It’s like it’s like we’re it’s like, well, the end like, how do we make it happen? What were the decisions we made? What did we say yes to? More importantly, what did we say no to? I think that’s the big one. What did we say no to to make this happen? And it’s like our our if we just took a moment to dream about that, I think there’s so much wisdom there that it is kind of like a road map on, like, how to create the results that you want.

Lynn Grogan [00:42:50]:

Yeah. And I think that was interesting about one of the things that you had mentioned either on this call or before ahead of time is, like, there’s no defined pathway to being an entrepreneur or doing something very different than what you’re doing right now. And so it’s like, by doing what you just suggested, fast forwarding to the future, you create your own road map that’s actually, like, uniquely tailored to you and what you know about yourself versus somebody else’s idea of what you should do. So it’s like if you can have some trust in yourself to follow that path, it’s like you’re not gonna lead yourself astray.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:43:21]:

Yeah. Absolutely.

Lynn Grogan [00:43:23]:

Yeah. So, Pri, is there anything else I didn’t ask you about today that was on your mind that you feel like people should know?

Priyanka Venugopal [00:43:29]:

I, you know, I think that we covered a lot of it. I kind of wanna just leave with saying that anything is possible. I think if you’re capable of imagining it if you’re capable of imagining it, it means that it’s possible to become your reality. If it was not possible, I don’t think that we would have been able to dream it. So I think that’s an important point to remember. If you’re if you’re dreaming about something, it it means it’s possible. We just have to kind of go go for it and get it.

Lynn Grogan [00:43:56]:

Yeah. I love that. If somebody wanted to find you online, where would they go?

Priyanka Venugopal [00:44:00]:

I am the Unstoppable Mom Brain everywhere on the Internet. That’s my podcast. It’s me on Instagram, and that’s my website. So, yeah, I love sharing stories, especially, I think storytelling, as I was telling you before we even started recording, on my podcast, and I think that that’s probably where I have the most fun is my podcast and Instagram.

Lynn Grogan [00:44:21]:

That is awesome. Well, I will have everything in the show notes for everyone to find. And, Pri, thanks for coming on the show today. I really appreciate the conversation and catching up with you.

Priyanka Venugopal [00:44:30]:

This was so fun. Thanks for having me.

Lynn Grogan [00:44:32]:

Thanks.

Enjoy The Show?


Lynn Grogan host of the Reality Show Life Coach podcast

Meet your host

Hi! I’m Lynn Grogan. It’s my passion as a life coach to help you escape the status quo and live a fulfilling life on your own terms!


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