515 Geeta Sidhu-Robb:
Many of the best businesses are inspired by adversity and built in difficult times. We entrepreneurs tend to run towards problems – and those problems spark innovative solutions. We see this already with the Coronavirus Pandemic as businesses start or pivot to meet fast-changing circumstances.
I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business we change up the format a bit to first talk about the Coronavirus and ways you can meet the challenge that has turned our world upside down – and then with our inspiring guest, Geeta Sidhu-Robb. Geeta is a detox, diet and transformation expert who helps women transform tired and overwhelmed lives into ones of joy, power and strength. We can all use that right now, right?
Before we get to Geeta Sidhu Robb of Nosh Detox, I want to share some tips you can put into practice right now – as you shelter in place at home – to stay sane, stay positive, and find ways to let go of all that fear, anxiety and uncertainty.
Number one – it’s vital to safeguard your emotional wellbeing. This may seem easier said than done. I want to share what is working well for me, many of my clients, and people I mastermind with. First, start the day with a glass of water – it’s important to stay hydrated – and a morning meditation. It’s vital not to wake up and go straight to the news, your email or social media. Take time for yourself to do some deep breathing – inhale through your nose for 2 counts, exhale through your mouth for 4. Keep repeating about 10 times and if you can change the ratio of 4 seconds in through your nose, 8 seconds out. Breathing is simple (we all do it) and it improves your mental clarity, memory, processing speed, mental agility, and mood… and also enhances your immunity, oxygenates blood cells, removes carbon dioxide and toxins from body tissue… and reduces heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.
Once you feel calm, try a short meditation. If you’re new to it, be patient with yourself. Feel your feelings, accept your thoughts, and let them go. Try to focus on your breath, and notice where there is tension in your body and let it go. The most important thing here is to be kind to yourself. You can also use any of the apps out there that provide guided meditations.
Number 2. Protect your mental health with some light-hearted distractions. Many of us have kids at home and we’re suddenly school teachers trying to home school them as we juggle work and all the other demands on our plate. Take breaks frequently, take walks (avoid crowds of course) and consider some light hearted distractions like funny movies, board games, and hobbies you’ve neglected. Maybe start a new hobby you’ve been putting off for a long time. Also physical distancing doesn’t mean social distancing: Reach out to people you haven’t talked to in awhile – because this is an opportunity to connect more deeply with friends, family, team members and customers.
Number 3 – your physical health. Gyms and yoga studios are shut, so sign up for a virtual course or get an app to help you work out. Or organize a virtual dance party with your team – Zoom is great for this, and I must have gone to about 5 of these in the past week. Whatever you choose its important to release natural endorphins to improve your health and mood.
And finally step 4. Gratitude. If you are struggling to make payroll, suddenly your business ground to a halt, or you have friends and family struck down by Coronavirus, it may seem an impossible task to find things to be grateful for – but there are. Think about what you have, now and in the past, that you can be grateful for. Think of your talents, your mission, and what you’re able to do for people – and what people have done for you. Focus deeply on this in meditation or in a journal. Gratitude is a powerful force that can lift you even in the darkest times.
I am grateful for you … and all you do in the world. Grateful you are listening right now – thank you.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb is going to be here in a minute. Right now she’s locked down in London – and we recorded our interview before the Pandemic took hold. Geeta, of course, started her business as a result of a very big challenge in her own life. Often difficulties spur us to make big changes in our lives – and often these challenges open the door for us to seize on our true calling and find our voices. You have an opportunity to create unmeasurable value if you use this time to seize it.
And when you join us we are donating $500 per person to Intellihelp, the fast growing Facebook community group helping people in need during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Now to our interview with Weight loss, Detox, Transformation & Diet expert Geeta Sidhu-Robb who helps people transform tired and overwhelmed lives to ones of joy, power and strength.
An ex-corporate lawyer, Geeta struggled to cure her son’s extreme allergies and eczema for years, and led her to retrain as a Raw Chef and functional nutritionist. What she discovered led her to found the health and wellness company Nosh Detox Delivery beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow and many other celebrities.
Geeta is a health coach with a holistic understanding of how nutrition affects body and mind with expertise in gut health and hormone health. She has applied this passion to improve performance to helping thousands of successful women treat everything from weight loss & digestive issues, to stress, improved performance, and transformation. She also serves major corporations now like Warner Music, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, State Street, Unilever and the UK House of Commons.
Geeta has taken home Entrepreneur and Business Women of the Year awards in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2017, Champion of Women award in 2017 and Entrepreneur Alumna of the Year 2019 along with 13 other awards for the business.
She is a passionate activist for all women’s rights leading to a pivotal role in the last General Elections as Deputy Chair & Media Representative of the Peoples Vote campaign – arguably the largest political movement in the United Kingdom.
So let’s put on our wings and fly with Geeta Sidhu-Robb.
Melinda Wittstock: Geeta, welcome to Wings.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Thank you for having me.
Melinda Wittstock: I am so intrigued by founder stories. You know that moment or spark that makes you think, right, I’m going to start a business. Often, it can be a problem or a challenge in our personal lives that lead us to do that. There you are with your son and he’s not well. Take it from there.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: I have to find a way to … I had my son extremely unwell and then I have two smaller kids. I have to find a way to make everybody safe and fed and looked after and still manage to actually keep down a job, and it just didn’t work because when children get sick, when you have a huge sickness and illness in the family, it often destroys families. My marriage broke up. I ended up homeless with three children under the age of seven, so seven, three and one. It was just incredibly difficult. I was doing anything I could to make money, so I was acting as a consultant. I just couldn’t go to work and leave them alone because I was afraid somebody would die while I was at work because my son was so ill. It was just trying to find a way to make a living while being in my home.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: I started from there, and then I thought, look, the thing I know how to do is to make people healthy because that is what I had done with my son. Over the next two, three, five years, I learned a lot of skills and making people incredibly healthy, and then I thought, well, actually, this is a job. This is something that a lot of people don’t know how to do. I ended up setting up and building and founding Nosh Detox simply from that background. My mother is very unhappy about it. She thinks that I went from law into catering, so she was very unhappy. She was like, “This is not a move upwards.”
Melinda Wittstock: It’s a massive move upwards when you think of the millions of people that you’re helping. Women, sometimes we forget about our own self-care because we’re so busy worrying about everyone else.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Yes. In the demographics of our current lives, there are a few things that are really different, which is that firstly women are more the breadwinner now than they have ever been before for a variety of reasons, which means that we end up not only just getting pregnant and giving birth to the baby, but we end up getting pregnant, giving birth to the baby and paying the baby’s bills, which means that we have to live in a very different way, which means we’re very isolated because like my mother says, “Why do you work so hard?” I’m like, “Your husband helped you to pay your bills because you grew up in that age, but I have to pay my bills.” I have to be different. I have to be mother, father, breadwinner, everything in one go. If I get sick and I can’t go to work, oh, I’m stuffed.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, everything falls apart. It’s true.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Think about you. Think about your life. If you don’t get up and you’re not well, what happens to your life and your business?
Melinda Wittstock: Oh my, goodness. Yeah, it’s scary to even think of that. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important though for women to do two things, to learn how to ask for help and to be very focused on creating scalable business models where they can hire fast enough so it’s not a disaster in a business if you’re sick or you go on vacation, you go somewhere.
Melinda Wittstock: Geeta, when you were just starting out, you were starting out from a difficult place. You had been through a divorce. You didn’t have money and here you are starting a business. I can only imagine you were doing it all, all of it, all of it, all of it.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Oh, yes, I really was. I was working from when I woke up the kids at 6:30 in the morning and I put them to bed at 6:30 in the evening and I’d work through to 12:00 at night. I did that every single day.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh my, goodness. How long did you do that for though? [crosstalk 00:10:35] It’s not sustainable.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: No, but then I was super woman, so I had to do that. I had to make sure that I cooked the food, then the house wasn’t clean, then I had to take them to school. I tried to do everything. What happened for me was because … One thing I learned from this is that there’s a difference being a woman and there’s a difference being a female CEO and there is a difference being a senior successful woman than just being a woman. This is the difference.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: For me, what happened is I ended up one day, I had eaten something and I actually got food poisoning. I was in bed for three and a half days, violently ill, refusing to go to hospital because there was nobody to look after my kids but me. I woke up in the hospital on a drip because the lady who helped me with the kids after school had called the ambulance. She was like, “You’ve just got to go.” I woke up crying because I was like, “I can’t be here. I can’t be here because there’s no one to look after my kids.” They were like, “Well, you can’t go anywhere. You’re on a needle, an IV drip.” I sat there and I thought, wow. If I die now, there was nobody to look after my children but me.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: That changed my whole life. It literally changed my life because I realized at that stage that every training I’ve ever had as a woman had to change so that I could become a successful woman. Those were different things, because a woman looks after everyone first. She looks after her children, her aged parents, her family. She looks after the house. She puts everything. She runs herself ragged. She’s exhausted. She does everything all the time without a word of thanks. A successful woman understands that when she herself is strong, she looks after herself, she’s powerful, all of those things, then she’s successful because so much depends on her being healthy. Those are two different things.
Melinda Wittstock: Very much so. There’s an interesting moment where I learned the same lesson that my self-care had to come first in my business. As the founder and CEO, now on my fifth company, that if I wasn’t at my best, there’s no way the company could be at its best.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: You can’t fake it.
Melinda Wittstock: You can’t. Moreover, for women especially, I know so many women, myself included too, who are in this really hard driving masculine energy in our 20s and 30s and into our 40s, and at a certain point, your body starts failing you and it may show up as adrenal fatigue or no hormones left or worse.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: The easiest way to find out if your body is starting to fail is that the body fails from the outside in because it’s trying to keep your heart pumping as the very last thing that it does. It fails from the outside in. If you have your nails and your hair not growing, like in the old days, we used to grow our own hair and nails before hair extensions and nail extensions. This is the perfect sign that your hormones are out of whack and you’re living under an enormous amount of stress and your self-care is failing you.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. I remember having a doctor’s appointment a few years ago where I was trying to … I gained all this weight, but I was still eating really clean, really healthy, not a lot of food. I was exercising, and I was still gaining weight, and I’m like, what is going on? It turned out that I had no hormones left at all. There was nothing, and there was no way I could have lost weight in that scenario. Once that got rebalanced with bioidentical hormones and the whole thing, the weight just came off. I feel great.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Also, it’s because women’s hormones are so different to men’s because they’re so delicately balanced, but the hormones are the electrical impulses that fix how your body works. If you’re super stressed and you have a lot of cortisol in your system, that shuts down your hormone pathways. You just don’t work as well, and that’s when you want more insulin … You get more carb cravings because your body is trying to create more insulin and because it’s not absorbing enough and you go down a whole another place where you deplete every single thing you’ve got in your system.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Let’s look at it like this. When your traffic lights are amber, it’s much easier to get you back to health. When your traffic lights go to red and you become ill, it’s a much, much longer road.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, that is for sure. Geeta, with Nosh, you help so many women, first of all, detox, get everything on the right track. With a healthy body and a healthy mind attitude, all of that, we’re unstoppable. Right?
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Completely. We’ve been very lucky. We’ve had Gwyneth Paltrow as a client. We’ve had amazing, incredible clients, and we have just wonderful times where people will call us up and go, “Well, we’ve got an entire bunch of actresses that have to be naked or they have to be doing this. They have huge roles to play.” That’s when people come to us and say, “Can you help us to fix these places so that these ladies are showing up proud of themselves, happy and they’re feeling strong? We do a lot of that work. What we do is help them. We help women to systemize self-care so that they are completely in a place where they are looked after all the time as a standard. It’s like brushing your teeth. When you’re a child, brush your teeth, brush your teeth, and you lie about it and you’re like, “Yeah, I brushed them. Yeah.” After a while, you don’t have to think about it anymore. You just brush your teeth.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: The difference between a woman who is happy and loves her body and happy with her life is a woman where she’s taken all the self-care that she needs. She systemized it to such an extent that she’s never dropping below par because she’s always functioning at her best.
Melinda Wittstock: I’m curious about this. What comes first, the mindset or the physical or they’re both kind of chicken and egg in a way?
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Well, no. Think about it this way. The last time you were sick or had a bad headache or a bad cold, could you think clearly?
Melinda Wittstock: Well, no, that’s the thing. It fogs you. It fogs you up.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: It’s impossible for you to function because if your house is your body and your body doesn’t work … I have people all the time, they’ll say, “What I put in my mouth doesn’t affect how I feel.” I’m like, “Well, if you drank a bottle of vodka, it would affect how you felt.” Everything that goes in your mouth affects how you feel.
Melinda Wittstock: I’ve gotten very conscious of that now because different foods do impact me, but I don’t know whether it’s just because I’m more conscious of it or conscious of the impact on my body or I just eating more consciously or I’m more present or embodied or something. I don’t know.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: It almost doesn’t matter because as long as you know what’s happening and you know how to fix it, that’s really the only thing that matters. People say this. We do food delivery, and we do juice delivery, and we help with online courses and ebooks, everything. What will happen is you’ll work with people one week, four weeks down the road, and they’ll go, “I feel so much better,” but it can’t just be that, can it? You’re like, “Did you change anything else in your life except what you ate?” They’re like, “No.” I’m like, “Well, then it can’t be anything else.”
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: When you change and you systemize how you eat well every single day, which takes a lot of dedication and commitment to your own health, and we’re bad at this as well. We’re very bad at it because we just don’t think like that. We put ourselves last. We don’t invest in ourselves. We don’t spend money in ourselves, and we’re more likely to get a manicure than we are to get a salad.
Melinda Wittstock: Take me through some of your habits as well with this. You discovered this working obviously to solve the problem for your son, but for yourself, what are your daily habits and how do you stay strong and fit and confident?
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Some of it is working on myself. Some of it is that I have a lot of really successful women that I’ve been privileged to have as clients. Working with them had exposed me to many different kinds of lifestyles. We had to make the techniques work for everybody, so you learn a lot more when you have to work with 10,000 women than when you’re just working with yourself. I am lucky enough to get the best of all of that information and I use it.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: For me, I’m extremely clear that my calendar, and we teach this system called the balance sheet technique, so my whole calendar is worked out across the week and I treat it like a balance sheet so every single day is a profit and loss. It’s like, right, today, did I win or lose? If I drank a lot this evening then the next day, I have to balance that by eating really incredibly well. If I know that I’ve got four days where I’m working really hard then the days before it and after those days, I’m looking after myself so that where I’m depleting, I’m re-nurturing myself.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, you have to replenish. I know in my calendar now, I have a massage every week. I make sure I exercise four times a week. Having a dog helps because I’m always out walking the dog. I have my best business inspirations actually when I’m doing those things.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Completely because your body is happy with you. It feels loved. What it does is it shows up for you because you’re showing up for it.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. I get all my best inspirations doing those things or doing yoga or meditating.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: It makes such an incredible difference. We just think it’s that thing that when you’re super stressed, you go and reach for a glass of wine, okay, but as long as you’ve got all the other things in place to keep you going. For example, we teach our clients that when you’re looking … We have a thing called the naturopathic plate so that you have shortcuts to making sure every single plate of food that you eat has the right amount of fat, the right amount of fiber and greens in it and the right amount of protein. Because we are always told that actually you need to eat an enormous amount of protein, but unless you’re 23 and a male bodybuilder, you do not need as much protein. You actually need much, much more fat.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. Yeah. That’s so counterintuitive because somewhere along the line, I know in the United States when they did this food pyramid, it was all heavy on carbs and processed stuff and grains and low fat, and all the fat got replaced with sugar and processed.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: It’s so bad for us because as women, for example, like women eat low fat, but fat is vital for our hormones because if you don’t have enough fat in your system, good fat, your hormones don’t work. This is why, for example, anorexics stop having periods because they’re not eating enough fat for their periods to work. If we don’t need eat enough fat, which is up to 45% of your plate, which makes most women want to break out in hives.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Let me tell you. I have worked on weight loss for women my whole adult life. I’ve done this for 12 and a half years. Women would walk in the door and they will say, and this is a conversation I have 17 times a day, like, “I can’t lose weight.” I’m like, “Why?” They’re like, “I work out and I look at what I eat and I work and I can’t lose weight.” I’ll be like, “Okay, tell me what you ate yesterday.” They’ll say, “Well, I woke up and I had a coffee and then I didn’t have time for lunch, so what I did was I took a Snickers bar in the afternoon, but I ate a really good meal at lunch.” You’re laughing, but you and I both know women that do this. I’m like, “Okay, let’s start again.”
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: What we do is we go, you must eat across a day, not all of your calories in one meal at night. You have to have fat in your diet. You have to have fiber. The more food that you eat on a more regular, sustained, healthy balance, your body will not think it’s dying of hunger and starving and so it will allow you to release fat.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, you need to have your metabolism. It’s like an engine. You need to be putting things into the engine. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur. We have to do so many things because it’s not just our businesses. As we’re saying, many of us have kids, husbands or partners, friends, just very full lives. Balancing all of that I think can be very, very hard because we get confused. We think we have to do it all to have it all. That’s where we end up putting ourselves last. You cannot grow and scale a business from that kind of a mindset.
Melinda Wittstock: Take me back to that moment. You’re in the hospital. You’re recovering from this horrible food poisoning and you have this awakening moment. How did that change how you went about your business? When you got healthy and you came back, what were some of the first things you did to come back from that?
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: That’s such a great question. The first thing I did was to understand what was going on because I didn’t understand the effect stress was having on my system at all, because was just going to run on empty forever and just run through everything because this is how it was always going to work. The first thing I did was I learned that when my body thinks it’s in danger, which is when I’m constantly stressed, and your body doesn’t know the difference. When you’re stressed and you’re running from the dinosaur because that’s what your body thinks it’s doing, there are three things that don’t work. Those are your fertility, your digestion and your sleep. Those are the three things that never work when you’re deeply stressed. First I understood that.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Then, I thought, right, how do I rebalance my sympathetic nervous system so that I could calm down? I changed how I ate, and I actually started to eat. I eat three meals a day, and if I’m hungry, I will go out and have a snack. I then decided that exercise was vitally important and I put that into my calendar in invariably. Everything goes in after my … I built my calendar first on my self-care then I add everything else. I make sure that what is going on in my house 100% supports me first because we have this thing, British Airways, which is the British airline, they have a fantastic saying. They say if we are in trouble and there’s no oxygen in the airplane, masks will drop down from above you. Please put your mask on yourself before you put it on anyone else.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, all the airlines do that and it’s a great example about how we have to serve from a full cup. We should be serving from the over spill in the saucer, not from an empty one.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Completely. It’s really hard because we feel guilty. To be fair, for women to do this, they feel super, super, super guilty. They feel like they’re doing something wrong if they do that. I think that that’s the biggest problem. So much of our time is spent explaining to women that in fact, you are not doing anything wrong. You’re really doing all of the right stuff by looking after yourself.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s so true. On the business side though, when you came back, you were doing so much yourself, did you really have the epiphany? When did you have the epiphany of, oh my, God, I need help? I’ve got to hire people. I’ve got to delegate. I’ve got to scale.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: What I did was I gave up all the stuff that stressed the crap out of me because there were things I didn’t like to do like the implementation and the organization. I’m an entrepreneur. I didn’t want to do those things. The first thing I did was I was like, all right, you come in, you run those dots and I’s and cross those T’s because I never want to look at that again. Then, I hired help in my house. I hate cooking, and cleaning toilets does not improve my character at any level. I was like, I’m not doing that either. I hired a lovely woman that came in and cleaned and then she would cook a meal and she would leave. I was like, fantastic. There’s one really decent cooked meal and the house is clean. Those are the two things that I did immediately because they were the things I identified that really made the biggest difference to me.
Melinda Wittstock: I think that’s true. I think in the early stages of a business, you could almost say the first thing to hire is that personal assistant and then follow up pretty quickly with an executive assistant or admin. Just take all that busy work.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Yeah, because it also doesn’t make you any money. There was no way that if you do something like this, busy work so rarely is a good use of an entrepreneur’s time because most entrepreneurs are making money at the things that they’re really fantastic at, which is why they set up their businesses. The minute you’re doing all of this stuff, you’re doing nothing that is inspiring you or anybody around you and you’re having to actually … You should always walk yourself out of your business so that you’re the person that’s giving the energy to the business.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. One of my mentors said this to me very well about 10 years ago. He just said to me, “Okay, so Melinda, what is the value of an hour of your time? If you in that hour come up with a whole new division of your company or a strategic partner that’s going to be worth six figures to the business or a new product line or you close some big sale. What’s your hourly rate?”
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Exactly.
Melinda Wittstock: Is it 100 bucks? Is it 500? Is it 1,000? Is it $10,000 an hour? You can make an argument that it’s like 10,000 or more per hour. You will be the highest paid dishwasher on the planet if you use your time on that. You shouldn’t be fixing links on your website or doing your QuickBooks accounting or things like that. Hiring fast is vital, and yet, here’s the thing. I think a lot of women hire too late.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: I agree, because we’re scared, and we’re scared that we’re not making enough money, and we’re scared that it will cost us money to hire someone. We’re scared to give up control because we know our business the best. I don’t know about you, but I know how to do everything in my business. I don’t do it, but because I made most of it happen, I know how to do it. The bits where it was like, should I be doing it? I’m doing this better than you. You’ve got to walk away and let that person [crosstalk 00:29:12].
Melinda Wittstock: You got to let 80% be good enough.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Yes. We’ve got to learn to … The other thing I taught myself is to do 2% less every day.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s interesting. You know what was really funny that happened to me not so long ago? I had this priority list and I try and work on the things that have the highest leverage first in the day, my highest priority. For whatever reason on this particular day, I was working on priorities number two, three, four and five but not advancing number one. I was blocked on two, three, four and five. No matter what I did, they weren’t really advancing. Finally, I said, “Oh man, I should just work on priority one.” The funniest thing happened. I started working on priority one, and two, three, four and five resolved themselves without any input from me.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Exactly.
Melinda Wittstock: It was astonishing. It was such an interesting lesson.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: It is, isn’t it? We forget. Regularly, I’ll be doing things and I’m thinking, why am I doing this? From time to time, we forget. You need to not beat yourself up about it because we all forget. It’s the thing of understanding and learning that you are so valuable and you’re so important, and why not show up as that valuable, important person? What does that mean for you?
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. I think there should be an AA for perfectionists. I really do.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Getting control freaks.
Melinda Wittstock: Control freaks. Yeah. Also, perfectionism I think gets confused with mastery. There’s nothing wrong with mastering something, but perfectionism is I think like fear with a nice pretty pink bow on it.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: I think that’s where impostor syndrome comes from as well because we think we have to be perfect before we can do anything and that we just have to get it right. That’s never going to happen because that’s just not how life works. The minute you work it out, something will change.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s so true. Geeta, you’re a big champion for women’s empowerment, women in business. I’ve arrived at this conclusion, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this podcast in particular that when women really show up and help each other and lift each other, we’re so much stronger together than we are when we’re in that scarcity based competition only with other women.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Yeah, I agree.
Melinda Wittstock: How has that manifested? I still see women who are suspicious of other women or maybe we’ll say, hey, you go girl, but they’re not really there to help other women. Do you think that’s changing? I sense that it’s changing a lot.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: It’s a good observation, Melinda, but I think that I have found, I remember when I started the business because there were so few women, it was a little bit like, look, this is my territory. You stay over there. It wasn’t so much like let me do you down, but it was not helpful and supportive. Whereas, now, when we are aware that all women struggle, when we’re aware that we’re all trying to do something, then I think that that is the place where we all try and help each other because for all of us to win, the energy of everybody rises. I’m a big believer in the universe and the more we help each other, the more help we get for what we’re trying to do because if nothing else, you become more abundant by being grateful and by helping each other.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s true. That shift in society generally from scarcity to abundance. You can see when people are in scarcity, all kinds of things go awry. When people are in fear and scarcity, there’s more likely to be greed or control or just bad things. In an abundance perspective, everybody, we’re all so unique. There’s space for everybody to do well.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: This is it. As long as you know that there is space for everyone to do well, there is absolutely no reason for us to be disliking what somebody else is or isn’t doing. I think that that’s been the difference that people have become more aware of this. They just see that they can do stuff so they don’t need to hate someone else for succeeding.
Melinda Wittstock: Very, very true.
Melinda Wittstock: You have expanded your business hugely. You work with all these celebrities, but you also do a lot of stuff for big corporations, Barclays and the bank, Unilever, Morgan Stanley, and in Britain, even the House of Commons. How did all of that manifest for you?
Melinda Wittstock: How did you handle each of these step-ups in your business? Another way to ask it is often when we see our business, sometimes we can see the whole business model right from the get-go and we draw some sort of Walt Disney map of all the ways we’re going to dominate the world. In other cases, we just start to see opportunities as we’re going along. Did you have the big, big vision or was it simply like, wow, this just grew organically?
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: I would love to sound really fabulous and tell you that this was all strategically planned, but the real honest truth is that I actually couldn’t add up. I was the lawyer so I did words. I remember my bank manager had to teach me how to write a business plan because I was applying for a 2,000-pound overdraw because that’s how I set up the business. I just did it all, whatever was coming next. The thing that I found that has stood me in really good stead was not because I had it all planned, because that’s what they say, you make a plan and God loves, was that I had values, that I refused to budge on the quality of what I was doing, that I refused to accept second best. If I thought of something and I meant it, I stood up for it.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: That is something that I have just done from the beginning because I had nothing to lose. I was in a place where I had this incredibly ill child. I was 100% broke. I had nowhere to go and nothing to do. The only way was up, and there is a huge amount of freedom in falling off the face of the earth and having nothing left. I had lost my house. I had lost my car. I had lost my marriage. I had no family. I had nothing. We had 200 pounds to go all the way through the Christmas period, which is just not a lot of money when you have three kids and nowhere to eat. For a four-week period, I had no idea how to earn money.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: For me, all of it has come and we get a huge amount of attention. We’ve been blessed to get … We have so many celebrities on our books. We’ve never advertised for one. We have never asked them to come to us. They all asked each other to come to us. That has come from being the best at what we are. Honestly, it has taken being really … people were like, “Go and be a nutritionist.” I’m like, “No, I’m a lawyer. I do not need to go and be a nutritionist.” I refused. In those days, nutrition schools used to say to you that milk gave you calcium, and without milk, you would get sick. I knew that my son couldn’t drink milk so I wouldn’t go and learn things I didn’t believe and just to say them just to make money. I will never do that.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: What I did instead was I learned different things. Now I’m a qualified health coach. I’m qualified in gut health. I’m qualified in hormone health. I qualified as a real chef. I did all of these qualifications along the way, and the world has changed so much for which I’m very grateful. You can only be true to yourself. You can’t be true to anyone else. The more true you are to yourself, the more success comes to you. I’ve never looked for any of these. It sounds so awful and irritating because I have never looked for these opportunities, but I honestly haven’t. I’ve just looked for the opportunity to be the best at what I do.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s the only thing we can really do at the end of the day. Think about solving problems for other people, creating value for other people, doing it the best you can and having fun and enjoying it along the way. It sounds so simple and it actually kind of is. We over-complicate things.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: The thing is being poor is really frightening. It’s really, really frightening. I remember being rung up by somebody, and she was like, “Well, what do you think about what Gwyneth Paltrow said?” I’m like, “Sorry,” because I wouldn’t know Gwyneth Paltrow from a hole in the wall. She said, “She’s just recommended you as her favorite detox to Vogue Magazine.”
Melinda Wittstock: Wow.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: I was like, “What? Seriously?” I went all the way through my database thinking, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gwyneth Paltrow. I would have noticed surely if she was a client. It was the funniest thing. She just used a pseudonym. We still don’t know what pseudonym she uses. We still have no idea. When Goop set up, then they rang us and they said, “We want to feature you on Goop,” and I had no idea what Goop was. None. Honestly, it’s so stupid, but I had no idea. You would have people who would ring me and they were from America, from California, and they’d be like, “Oh, hi. Gwyneth Paltrow recommended I use your company.” I’m like, “Could we just take down the website and just have you record that and put it on the site?” We’ll play that again and again and again.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Those were the things, but it was because I refused to do what I didn’t think was good for somebody just because it would make me money. I was like, “I’m not doing it. I’m doing it my way. I’m doing it the right way.” Everything came from that.
Melinda Wittstock: That is so brilliant, Geeta. When we’re in our authenticity and we’re true to ourselves and our mission and our purpose for being and what lights us up and, yeah, we’re just true to ourselves, I think that’s where the magic and the miracles really happen. In all the women that I’ve interviewed for this podcast, all the entrepreneurs I’ve worked with over the years, this is the one thing everybody has in common that succeeds in a sustainable way anyway.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: I agree. I think that the unit … My theory is this. I speak a lot at schools trying to educate people on finding futures for themselves and how to build a future, especially young girls because it really matters to me because I have daughters. I always say to them, “Look. At the end of your finger, you have a unique fingerprint. This is not because the universe or God was bored and had nothing to do. Not at all. It’s because every one of you was born with a unique key to change the world. That is why you have a unique fingerprint. Also, not because you’re about to become a criminal. You have a unique fingerprint. The fact that you were born means you are able to change the world according to one thing that only you can do. What if we could find that one thing? That’s what I think. That’s what I was born to do, help you to find that thing by making you strong enough to take the step towards finding it.” That lights up my whole world all the time.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s beautiful. You’re also involved in politics.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: I am.
Melinda Wittstock: In the UK, which has had all kinds of interesting political swings and roundabouts, you had a pivotal role in the last election. You were deputy chair and media representative of the People’s Vote campaign.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: It’s the largest political movement in the country.
Melinda Wittstock: You had a pivotal role in the last elections as deputy chair and media representative of the People’s Vote campaign, and it’s a big political movement in the UK. First of all, what sparked your interest with all the things you already do? You already have this big business empire. What was it that drew you to politics?
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: I have to say it’s not like I had any spare time [crosstalk 00:41:36] and then they called the general election which destroyed my life completely. You have not lived, man, until you have stood up and spoken on a stage in front of a million people. I’ve never been so scared in my whole life, never. I was sweating so much. I had to actually go home and change my clothes after that because I was so scared.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: I think it was this. I think that I am so deeply premonition fortunate that I’m in a position where I have an education and I have a voice and that I am able to use that education and that voice to put across a point really clearly. It is really hard for women to do that. It is incredibly hard for immigrant women to do that. I don’t have women that I could look at and go, “You inspired me. Look what you did. That’s amazing.” They weren’t there. I opened the door to these women when I first stood for parliament in this country because I was the first non-white woman to stand in this country as an MP.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s amazing.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Just to think about it. Right?
Melinda Wittstock: That’s so inspiring and, oh my, goodness.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: … and terrifying.
Melinda Wittstock: … and terrifying because I imagine you had a lot of support, but you probably also had a lot of haters.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Oh my, God, so many. Oh my, God, so many. It was [crosstalk 00:42:59].
Melinda Wittstock: How did you cope with that? How did that make you feel? What was it like?
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: I didn’t really … It stood me in good stead for when I became homeless later. I was just like, you know what? This is what I’m going to do because I want to do it. I believe in this and I’m going to do it because I believe in it. When I did that and then I stopped working in politics because my son got sick, and I always remember, Melinda, thinking that I had failed, that I haven’t gone down the whole road and taken over the government and done all this when I was in my 20s when I first did this.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: About four years ago, I was on a stage with some woman who’s in our House of Lords, and she stood up on stage and said the … They said to her, “Why did you become a member of the House of Lords? Why did you stand for parliament?” She said, she doesn’t know this, “I saw a woman on TV one day and I said if she can do it, I can do it.” She pointed to me and she said-
Melinda Wittstock: That’s wonderful.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: I was so gobsmacked. I thought, oh my, God, I didn’t fail, because you never know the impact your behavior will have on someone else who you have never met. That is why I do what I do because I think that my children need to see … How dare anybody think that we don’t have the right as women or even as an immigrant to own the countries that we live in. It is our right because we have these passports, we pay taxes, we’re part of the community. It’s true. I do get told to go home all the time. I do get attacked. It is painful, I have to say. I don’t pretend it isn’t, but the consequence is worth it, if that makes sense.
Melinda Wittstock: Do you have future political ambitions?
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Oh, for sure. My goal is to create a global movement of making women as strong and as powerful and as confident as they possibly can be. That’s what I want to do this year and next, and then I wanted to go back into politics full-time and make it all about getting up in everyone’s faces about how the country … Our governments do not support women on businesses. They don’t give us enough funding. They don’t help us in setting up. Even in my bank, let alone any other women’s banks. We’re successful, and we have an overdraft facility that is derisory because we’re a women-owned business. We’re held to a different status to somebody else. I hate all that. I’m such a crusader. It’s really quite sad.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s wonderful. Keep going.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: I need to do it. I think that it has to be seen. I want my children and I want other women to see you can do this. If I’ve broken down one barrier, they can break down 10.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s interesting because here in the United States, this is happening more and more. In the last midterms, a record number of women ran and got elected and more minority women are running.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Absolutely.
Melinda Wittstock: It would be amazing to see more immigrant women running. It’s so, so important that we do this. Anything that we can do here at Wings, Geeta, to support you and allow you to spread your wings or soar even higher, we’re down for that. We want to make sure-
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Thank you.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s so important. It really is a mission where when women fly together, we do soar higher. Hence, this whole idea of our wings, because we need each other.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Yeah, completely.
Melinda Wittstock: What you’re doing is so inspiring. I’m excited to see what the future holds for you, future prime minister.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Yes, exactly. That’s my theory. I think that that will do [crosstalk 00:46:32].
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. We’ll have to come visit you in Downing Street.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: You totally should.
Melinda Wittstock: That would be amazing. Geeta, how can people find you, work with you, take your detox, just get the benefit that Gwyneth Paltrow gets from you?
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: The website is noshdetox.com. What we’ve done is we’ve created a special program just for your audience, which is to help them to systemize their self-care. It’s a phenomenal program and it’s what people come to me to do one-to-one, and we’ve created it as an online program for anyone who lives anywhere in the world to be able to do. We walk you through exactly what needs to go on your plate in order for you to always be able to be eating healthy and feeling at your strongest and the mindsets behind making you feel strong, powerful and confident.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: I have this hashtag. It’s strong, sassy and successful. I want you to be strong, sassy and successful. We’ve created this thing distilled from over a decade of working just in health and wellness.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: What we’ve done is we’ve made a special offer because it’s actually in pounds and we’ve made it into dollars just for your audience. That means that when they get there, they get up to 40% off on the program price.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s wonderful. Thank you. That’s so generous. I encourage everybody to take Geeta up on her offer. It’s truly transformational stuff you’re doing. Thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us today.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been such a pleasure.