Female Disruptors: Meher Mirchandani On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

Authority Magazine Editorial Staff
Authority Magazine
Published in
14 min readJan 28, 2023

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Gather experiences, not things — Growing up, I thought success meant being able to make money and spend it on things. Over time, I realized that experiences, rather than things, bring me more happiness. I realized that while objects we buy act as painkillers, life’s moments are what truly matter.

As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Meher Mirchandani.

An award-winning entrepreneur, author, keynote speaker, and coach, Meher set out to transform her life with self-love and has never looked back. She balances her various roles with ease and persistent hard work — whether it is that of a business leader, decision maker, wife, daughter, or devoted mother to her twin daughters. Her work focuses on transforming lives, relationships, and businesses through a better understanding of self-love.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

People are surprised when I tell them that a deep, unshakeable, and permanent sense of unhappiness has lived with me for almost all my adult years. I had a feeling that I could never quite understand. And it remained with me even though my parents loved me deeply and I had access to the very best of everything.

I frequently travelled around the world, wore expensive clothes, dined at the finest Michelin-star restaurants, studied at the best private institutions, and was chauffeured in Mercedes S-Class and Rolls Royce everywhere.

I was unaware that lack of self-love is at the root of all my misery. At a professional level, I had exactly zero impact. I felt like a square peg in a round hole when I joined my father’s company in 2013. It was a tumultuous time in my life, both personally and professionally.

My family’s business had quickly grown from a single operation in Jafza to a thriving group of more than 20 companies. At one point, our manufacturing facilities were producing a million pieces a month for clothing stores such as The Gap, BHS, CNA, Debenhams, and several others across the US and Europe. The operations that had started with just one factory quickly grew to 30 factories that employed over 4,000 workers with sales offices in New York, London, and Manchester.

When I took charge of the company, there was no concept of weekly or monthly meetings. The only thing that happened once a year was an audit. I had no idea where the company was headed.

As a leader, it is crucial to understand how the company is performing month on month to get a holistic view of what’s working and what needs to change, the steps that need to be taken to reduce costs and steer the company in the right direction. A leader can’t even begin to add value until they know where things stand. Realizing that the company and I needed help was the first step toward my awareness. Let me simultaneously share my path as they are both connected. When I learned that success is something you attract by the person you become through Jim Rohn, that’s when I started making shifts in my personal life that eventually led to creating major shifts within the business.

‘In every adversity lies the seed of an equal or greater opportunity’ — Napoleon Hill

My journey to radically transform the quality of my life was a long series of small steps and decisions. A few years before joining the family business, I had started learning Theta healing. It’s a form of meditation that brings your brain into a deeply rested state called ‘theta’ and enables the practitioner to bring massive mental, physical, and emotional shifts within.

In late 2013, the same year I joined my family business, I applied to the Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO). The ethos of this member-led global organization put me on the path to becoming a conscious leader. EO’s holistic framework supports entrepreneurs and enables them to excel in business, family, community, and personal life. The organization provided me with great insights and lessons into life and business. With the help of learning events and my EO forum, I was able to start evolving myself, my life, and my leadership abilities.

I was meeting peers and business leaders from different walks of life. Their perspectives and experiences were starting to add immense value to my life and I was getting better equipped to navigate the business with more knowledge. Through conversations with fellow members and lots of introspection, the realization that I do not love and accept myself emerged. I discovered that at the deepest level, my lack of self-love had been the core of my misery all these years. And these beliefs were now causing me to fail in leading my family business as well. This awareness pushed me to start making the change in myself to become a victor from being a victim.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

I developed a laser-sharp focus on growing as a leader. I attended dozens of events offered by EO, the Harvard Business School, London Business School, Singularity University, and those led by world-renowned speakers, entrepreneurs, and gurus such as Ron Kaufman, Ryan Avery, Jay Shetty, Jim Collins, Vishen Lakhiani, and several others.

My learning over the years helped me become a ‘leader for good’ instead of just a good leader. I started understanding my strengths and also got a much better view of my weaknesses. I also started gaining perspective on how family businesses are run with the help of the Insead Leadership School’s, The Family Enterprise Challenge by Randel Carlock.

This is a program that allows families to learn and grow together and offer life-altering insights about other family-run businesses through case studies. It allowed me to create my values and chart out a parallel planning process map for the business and family. The more I learned about leading a family business, the more I could share and contribute to the growth, strategy, vision, mission, values, and people of our company.

During this time, I was also actively contributing to the entrepreneurial community. I was speaking regularly on various platforms and also learning to excel in business. I was taking on leadership positions like being on the board of EO. As I applied those learnings within my family business, I started to see remarkable shifts in the business that unfolded right before my eyes.

The results I was seeing encouraged me to help other people the same way I had helped myself. With the intent to formalize my contribution in 2019, I embarked on the journey of coaching and became a transformative Co-Active Professional Coach from the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) which is one of the largest and most established professional coach training organizations in the world.

The program helped me connect with my consciousness and gave me the tools to effectively communicate and serve the world. I also pursued Neuro-Linguistic Programming and became an NLP practitioner. NLP helps change thoughts and behaviours to achieve desired outcomes.

As an entrepreneur, your team is the first group of people you motivate to live better, and I did that with 100% dedication. So, by growing into a better version of myself and learning from different leaders I started gaining authentic power on all fronts of my life.

I was able to bring my whole self to the business, there were no layers. I was able to be an authentic leader and I could lead with love. For me, leadership and life are one — you have to be the same person at home and at work. There is no disparity between the two roles because that’s when you can serve your company, its people, and yourself.

My work as an entrepreneur, author, and coach is now dedicated to leaders who want to bring drastic positive changes to their businesses and their lives. I testify to the fact that when you lead with self-love, it can transform your journey at a personal level as well as a professional level and has an impact on your bottom line.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you first started? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I wanted to be like my father, he has been a successful businessman for 40 years and I believed if I learned to be like him, I would be successful. It was not funny at that time but I laugh about it today.

I was so uncomfortable as that was not my authentic self. It took me years to understand myself and my leadership style. The lesson I learned is that, we cannot be like someone else, we need to be our own best version of ourselves to create a difference in the world and our organization, be happy, and honor our journey.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

My mentors have been friends and fellow Entrepreneurs Organization members (a global platform based on peer-to-peer learning). They taught me the value of prioritizing our own needs. As an Indian woman, I believed it was my responsibility to put my husband and his family first. However, I’ve learned that if we can’t take care of ourselves emotionally, physically, and mentally, we’ll never be able to serve others.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

My work focuses on disrupting beliefs people hold personally and at work, when I joined my family business, I wanted to lead with love but there was no place for love. It was unheard of and my team and my family were shying away from me speaking about love which encompasses compassion, empathy, and kindness.

I set out to initially disrupt the meaning of self-love with my first book Come Alive, don’t just exist. And then I took it upon myself to disrupt the workplace culture of my company by leading with love and making love a value of the organization.

Over the course of going through the challenges and obstacles of my professional and personal life, I’ve learned a profound lesson. The only way to transform your life for the better is to connect with yourself, know yourself, appreciate yourself and love yourself for who you are. Because only after then will you be able to contribute to transforming and impacting the lives of others. Compassion has the power to heal not only our own wounds but also those around us. As leaders, this is our greatest gift and power.

My mission is to serve fellow humans to enjoy the journey, grow, learn and contribute so we build loving relationships at the workplace. I want leaders to align their souls with their personalities to be the same person at home and at work. I want us to be able to exude the same energy of a loving father or mother, a compassionate brother or sister, and a caring son or daughter.

I have now completed my second book which addressed the need for love in companies and how we can become great leaders if we lead with our hearts and soul rather than fear and ego.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

  1. Work is worship — My parents believe that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, and this belief was instilled in me from the start. This is what I live by, and it keeps me at peace every day.
  2. Discover your purpose to find contentment — I learned this from the books I read: love what you do and do what you love. When you enjoy what you do, you feel purposeful and your life has meaning. Finding your purpose and working on it every day brings me the contentment I seek in life.
  3. Gather experiences, not things — Growing up, I thought success meant being able to make money and spend it on things. Over time, I realized that experiences, rather than things, bring me more happiness. I realized that while objects we buy act as painkillers, life’s moments are what truly matter.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

I have set out to spread the impact of self-love on human growth and evolution in 4 ways

  • Publishing books focused on self-love by being an author
  • Creating awareness by participating in Keynote talks
  • Running a successful business with love at its core
  • Coaching Companies and individuals to love themselves first if they want to change any aspect of their lives.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

When I joined the family business, I felt these which I believe many women face -

  1. Being their own advocate — Men’s ambition is seen as a sign of strength, while women can’t count on their ambition being viewed favorably. I was unable to even speak about my ambition.
  2. Confidence in one’s own voice — To get the confidence to voice their thoughts, women frequently have to overcome both internal and external restrictions. The ability to trust my contribution as a female business owner in a family business was something I had to work on.
  3. Imposter syndrome — Women frequently struggle to create and depict an authentic self when confronted with widespread gender bias and injustice, a condition known as “impostor syndrome,” which can hinder their capacity to stand boldly in their accomplishments. I believe that women are powerful and need to acknowledge themselves.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

I particularly like seeing Brain Rose’s London Real and Tom Bilyeu’s Impact Theory. Both of them interview extraordinary people and learning about both their own and the guests’ lives was very motivating. As these television shows portrayed real people and their challenges as well as how they overcame them, I recall feeling empowered after every episode.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

My journey towards self-love and awareness directly correlated with the unparalleled growth and transformation that I was enjoying in my family business. I attribute this success to a radical mindset shift that had occurred within me. I was becoming aware of the role that self-love played in a person’s life in literally all areas. And after this realization, I put a lot of effort into changing my company’s culture and making love a key element of every action we took and every decision we made. I also learned that we can only cultivate love when we are in love with ourselves.

The dynamics of any business can begin to shift when we start to lead with love, by empowering the team members to love themselves first. Even the most obstinate of challenges are overcome, the risks come off as less scary and you have the confidence to persist for longer despite the odds. The impact of self-love is far greater than what we are led to believe. The first area that it impacts is you at a personal level. And at its very core, the deep connection to oneself makes a person feel alive and soaring.

“The relationship that we have with ourselves determines the quality of all our relationships.” — Meher Mirchandani.

And that reflects in the kind of accord we have with our spouse, children, friends, and the people at work. When I stepped into my family business, it was a time that greatly challenged me to go within myself and develop a deep level of self-love and awareness which eventually helped me shine within the organization despite the numerous odds that were stacked against me.

The fact that I led with self-love helped transform the business and the rigid culture that had been that way for years. I saw the business change, transform, and evolve right before me as I fell in love with myself. Today our company’s culture is all about love. Everybody honors love within the organization. And there is a palpable shift in energy.

This is the only way real leaders can impact, influence, and inspire their teams. It’s natural that when you constantly work on growing yourself as a leader, your team will always follow suit. I firmly believe that the top leadership in an organization creates a great or not-so-great culture.

Self-love enables you as a leader to lead with authenticity and allows you to connect with your team at a much deeper level. Authentic expressions take on a different meaning altogether. And in the process, you learn, as I have, that vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness. Additionally, leading with self-love offers an exceptional quality that only a very few leaders possess. It allows you to be genuinely and wholeheartedly invested in your team’s growth at a very individual and human level. It’s only natural for high-level performance to follow.

I strongly believe and stand for; performance is a by-product of growing an individual to love themselves. When I took the helm of the family business, I started the restructuring process by calling in external coaches and building coaching within HR to consistently guide our team members to grow.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

This quote from The Bhagwat Geeta, Chapter 2, verse 47 has made a significant impact on my life, I apply this to my business as well: You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction.

The Bhagavad Gita, which is surely the basic text on the practice of detachment, is wonderfully explicit on this point. Krishna tells Arjuna that acting with detachment means doing the right thing for its own sake, because it needs to be done, without worrying about success or failure. At the same time, Krishna repeatedly reminds Arjuna not to cop out of doing his best in the role his destiny demands of him. In a sense, the Bhagavad Gita is one long teaching on how to act with maximum grace while under maximum pressure.

Detachment is a way of thinking that allows us to still perform at our best, doing what we believe will bring us the best results, yet at the same time letting go of preferred outcomes. It is faith in action.

The Law of Detachment states that to manifest our desires, we must release attachment to the outcome itself as well as the path we might take to get there. … “The spiritual Law of Detachment is about trust and surrender rather than control,”

How can our readers follow you online?

To find out more about Meher:

Website: www.mehermirchandani.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meher_mirch...

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/comealivewi...

TikTok:https://www.tiktok.com/@mehermirchandani

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/comealivewit...

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@mehermirchandani4394/videos

To book Meher for a talk for your company email her on:

meher@mehermirchandani.com

You can also hear this podcast on Spotify or Apple and search for the Come Alive Podcast by Meher Mirchandani.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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