Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in leadership development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sumit Gupta, Founder of Deploy Yourself School of Leadership, located in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I help Founders/CEOs take their organisation to the next level by transforming their leadership and people skills.
Tell us about yourself
I was born and grew up in New Delhi, India, and am now based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Over the years, I have lived in multiple cities in India. In addition, I have traveled, worked along, and photographed people from all over the world.
One of my superpowers is to create safety and trust so that people do not have to wear a mask in front of me. I started as a techie in 2005 and fit the typical geek profile – good at computers but introverted when it came to working with people. In a way, I had learned to hide behind computers and not be visible.
I have worked in companies like InfoEdge (Naukri.com) (2005-2008), Yahoo (2010-2011), 91Mobiles (2013), and Booking (2014-2020). In addition, I also incorporated two startups – SaleRaja (from 2007-2010) and CricketRadius (in 2012) and co-founded a non-profit, Pick A Fight (2011-12).
I started leading a team at 24 years of age. At that time, I had no idea what leadership was all about. To make it worse, I wasn’t even aware that people management and other so-called soft skills could be learned. In 2012, I lost my mom to Cancer. This event shook my world in ways I am still realising. In a way, an old me died, and a new Sumit was born that day – however, it took me a long time to realise that. In 2021, I reprioritised my life in the pursuit of Deploying Myself.
Earlier, I thought the unpredictability of human beings was a bug, and it used to piss me off badly. However, now I see it as a feature. I am left in awe and wonder as I support people in finding and shining their own unique light upon the world.
People come to me feeling frustrated, low on energy, and stuck in achieving something that matters to them. They come confused and with their lights DIM and leave with their lights shining many times brighter. They leave feeling empowered, confident, relaxed, and ready to produce expanded results and relationships – for themselves as well as their teams. Today I am good at helping people see their light because I have spent so much of my life hiding my own.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Running a sustainable business doing what I like and how I like it - on my own terms. Setting the example for others.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being entirely responsible for the whole thing.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Just do it. Do not wait for readiness. Start now
- Get help from those who have done it before you.
- Have fun along the way. Do not make the journey heavy or hard on yourself. Enjoy.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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