The Grow Your Damn Business Podcast is a business podcast which delves into the journeys of entrepreneurs, exploring the highs, lows, and everything in between. This podcast is hosted by Scott Goodrich, a professional EOS implementer.
On this episode of Grow Your Damn Business! our colleague and co-founder of TransforMe Learning, Gatik Chaujer, joined as a special guest speaker where he shared his incredible journey of transformation, highlighting the importance of focusing on specific areas rather than claiming to be good at everything.
Read the transcript below.
Scott Goodrich – When we last spoke, you were facilitating a class that I attended at our previous company. Since then, it’s exciting to see that it has evolved into a business venture for you. Could you kindly provide our audience with some background on how that evolution unfolded? We’re eager to learn more about your journey as an entrepreneur and business leader.
Gatik Chaujer – It feels like it was ages ago, more than a decade to be exact. I don’t want to give away our ages too much! Back in 2010-ish, I was a shy, under-confident teenager with low self-esteem and a crippling fear of public speaking. Stage fright was my biggest challenge, and I vividly remember one embarrassing moment reciting a poem on stage where my hands shook, my voice trembled, and my heart pounded uncontrollably. It seemed like nobody was listening.
From those experiences of feeling inferior and not good enough, my personal journey has been a transformation. Now, I find immense fulfillment in helping others overcome their fears, develop leadership skills, and harness the power of storytelling. This is why the name “TransforMe” resonates with me so deeply. It’s not just my journey; it’s a collective journey of a tribe that came together to make a difference.
And that’s a brief glimpse into my journey. But TransforMe is more than just my story—it’s about the work my partner, Sandra, and I embarked on together. We experienced our own transformations and felt compelled to share it with the world. So, that’s the essence of our journey—a collective effort to create positive change.
Scott Goodrich – You’ve had the incredible opportunity to deliver not just one, but two TED Talks, taking something that once scared you as a child and transforming it into the foundation of your work. Can you provide us with some insights into the transition? Was there a defining moment or was it a result of continuous effort and practice? And let’s also delve into the growth of your business and how it has evolved over time.
Gatik Chaujer – My daughter affectionately calls me Superman for various reasons, but I’d rather not be known for wearing red underpants! However, let’s focus on the journey, evolution, and transformation that has led me to where I am today. It’s difficult to pinpoint a single moment that sparked the change; instead, it has been a progressive process. Even now, I face different challenges that require growth and adaptation.
The turning point in my journey occurred about 23 years ago during my first job at a call center in India. At that time, a trainer position became available, and 60 of my colleagues applied, eager to move away from handling calls. I, on the other hand, didn’t apply because I believed public speaking was not for me. One day, while dropping off my then-girlfriend, Sandra, she questioned why I hadn’t applied. In that vulnerable moment, I shared my deepest insecurities about my fear of public speaking and feeling inferior. Sandra’s response was a wake-up call. She saw potential in me that I couldn’t see in myself and encouraged me to apply. Her belief in me made all the difference.
I took her advice and was selected as a trainer, but it didn’t end there. Being among experienced trainers at a respected company like General Electric (GE) created a new set of fears and doubts. Impostor syndrome kicked in, and I questioned if I belonged among such talented individuals. Looking back, I realize that somewhere along the way, I made a resolution. I accepted that I wasn’t naturally gifted in public speaking but committed to putting in the effort to excel in that field.
Since then, it has been a journey of continuous effort, practice, discipline, consistency, and embracing the notion that I can improve and grow. This mindset guided me as I started my own business. It’s the disciplined focus and consistency that have propelled me forward.
So, whether it’s in personal or professional endeavors, I firmly believe that putting in the extra effort and consistently learning and honing our craft can lead to growth and success. That mantra has been instrumental in my journey and continues to guide me today.
Scott Goodrich – Let’s discuss TransforMe and your transition from the corporate world. In what year did you make the decision to step back and venture into this zone yourself? Was it in 2012, marking 11 years since then? Considering you had previously worked in larger organizations like Encore Capital and GE, where we met, with hundreds or even thousands of employees, what spurred your decision to leave and pursue your own path? Let’s delve into the factors that prompted this decision and explore the process of making such a significant career shift.
Gatik Chaujer – The decision to embark on my own journey with TransforMe was a progressive one, Scott. I believe that things happen in life that serve as catalytic events, leading us to where we are meant to be. In the first ten years of my career, I experienced significant growth, partly due to fortunate circumstances. Being in India during the IT boom allowed for ample opportunities for professional development. However, this early success also had unintended consequences. It fed my ego and led to complacency, distancing me from my true purpose.
An event that significantly impacted my path was attending a seminar with LAL, which prompted me to rediscover who I truly was. As I climbed the ranks in organizations, I found myself drifting further from my craft, consumed by meetings, conferences, and a sense of busyness that lacked fulfillment. Frustration grew, and I began questioning the purpose of my work. It became clear that the corporate world was draining my energy rather than nourishing my soul.
A tipping point came when I arrived home one night to find my wife, Sandra, expecting our second daughter, having quit her job to focus on motherhood. This transition meant a shift to a single-income family with more mouths to feed. In that moment, I sat at the dining table, vulnerable and honest with Sandra, and made a declaration—I was quitting. I had already made up my mind to pursue something of my own.
Sandra, always a supportive coach, asked me about my intentions. Without hesitation, I shared my desire to help people transform. To my amazement, she expressed her willingness to join me on this journey. And that’s when we made the decision to embark on our entrepreneurial path together.
It was a perfectly timed decision, aligned with our shared vision and purpose. Sandra’s own journey of discovering gestalt and coaching had prepared us for this leap. With her as my partner and coach, we set out to make a positive impact on people’s lives through TransforMe.
Scott Goodrich – When you have a clear purpose and the necessary skill set, it’s essential to let go and trust others. Delegating tasks that you know others can handle just as effectively allows you to focus on the next round of responsibilities. Can you recall a specific moment when you had to let go and delegate? What was one of the things you had to relinquish control over?
Gatik Chaujer – One of the initial challenges I faced was letting go of one of my most cherished creations, the program called “The Art of Storytelling.” It was a product born out of my passion for storytelling, and I had become known for my expertise in that area. It was a space where my ego thrived, and I truly enjoyed it. However, despite my personal attachment, I realized that the business itself wasn’t progressing.
At that moment, I had to make a crucial decision. I took the step to certify six trainers on the program, completely removing myself from its delivery. Today, after around five or six years, I now only facilitate around 10% of those workshops. Surprisingly, I couldn’t be happier with this shift because it opened up new opportunities for growth.
By letting go of the majority of the workshops, I created space to develop another product focused on story crafting, which has become my new passion. This shift has been both exhilarating and rewarding. It allowed me to diversify and explore new avenues within my business.
Letting go of that initial creation was a pivotal moment for me, and it served as a catalyst for further innovation and expansion. It taught me the importance of adaptability and the willingness to evolve, ultimately leading to greater satisfaction and fulfillment in my work.
Scott – Did you and Sandra ever find yourselves in a situation where you veered away from your original intentions? Did you chase something outside of your core focus and purpose that you had initially committed to? If so, how did that experience unfold?
Gatik Chaujer – We did find ourselves in a situation where we veered off track from our original purpose. It happened early on in our journey. Initially, we were focused on leadership transformation, but we ended up taking on team-building programs and time management courses for clients just to get our foot in the door. We got caught up in going with the flow rather than staying true to our direction. Thankfully, a conversation with our business mentor served as a wake-up call. He reminded us of our firm’s name and the deep transformational work we set out to do. It was a valuable lesson in staying aligned with our core focus.
Scott Goodrich – So, what’s next for us?
Gatik Chaujer – We have narrowed down our focus to four pillars of TransforMe: top leadership team alignment, leadership development, storytelling, and women professional development. Moving forward, we see two key areas of emphasis: driving diversity and inclusion, particularly in storytelling, and expanding into the Sydney market. As we enter our 12th year, I’m in a phase of challenging myself and exploring new opportunities. While I don’t have all the answers yet, I am certain that the next phase will bring something different and exciting for our business.
Scott Goodrich – We wrap up all of our conversations with 5 quick questions. So I’m gonna get the chance for you to share with the audience a little bit about who you are and what you like to do. The first thing is we’d love to hear about your favorite sports team. and particularly with a little international flavour, I hope. So what is your favourite sports team?
Gatik Chaujer – This is gonna get interesting. So I’d have to say that I don’t I actually don’t watch sports. I play sports. So it’d be very difficult for me to pick on a sports team, but my heart just wants to say the Indian cricket team, so I’m just gonna go with that.
Scott Goodrich – What would you eat for your last meal?
Gatik Chaujer – I have one of my favorite Indian delicacies, which is called Chole bhature. which is a kind of deep fried bread with a lot of chickpeas, again, fried. It’s a lot of fried stuff. You’re gonna go for another run. — spicy stuff after that. But it’s gonna be my last meal.
Scott Goodrich – What is your dream vacation spot?
Gatik Chaujer – I recently visited Queensland, specifically Hamilton Island, and I must say it was one of the best vacations I’ve had. You see, both Sandra and I are beach people, so being by the beach is pure bliss for us. Just being able to spend time on a beautiful beach, perhaps in a cozy shack, and enjoying a few beers is all I need to be happy. There’s something truly special about the beach that brings a sense of relaxation and joy. It was an incredible experience for us.
Scott Goodrich – what’s the favorite show that you and Sandra are watching or that you watch yourself? TV, movies, streaming, anything. What’s got your attention these days?
Gatik Chaujer – The most recent movie that I absolutely loved is “Air.” It was fantastic. I truly enjoyed it. The storyline and the portrayal by Ben Affleck were captivating, especially since I recently read “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight, which made me relate even more to the character. I have a penchant for autobiographies and stories about companies, so this movie was right up my alley. As for TV series, I must admit I’m a bit old-fashioned. I enjoy watching reruns of “Friends,” “Whose Line Is It Anyway,” and “Two and a Half Men.” They are all great shows.
Scott Goodrich – What’s a piece of advice or quote or or something that you’d like to share that always echoes for you something you’d come back to time and again?
Gatik Chaujer – I believe in the connection between passion and purpose. It’s something I had my daughter write out for me and used to have in my old office. Whenever I’ve struggled to figure out what I should be doing with my life at different stages, this principle has been a guiding light. In a coaching conversation, I once said, “Experiment with your passions until you discover your purpose.” Your purpose is closely tied to your passions, so keep exploring what truly excites you. If one passion doesn’t lead to a sense of purpose, try another. Keep experimenting, and you’ll eventually find your path and purpose.
Scott Goodrich – Great takeaways here today. Really appreciate you sharing all that. It’s really been a pleasure having you on on the episode today, and for taking the time.
Gatik Chaujer – Thank you so much for having me here, Scott.