Genius Speaks

Meet Iffat Khan who overcame her failures to mentor start-ups

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Iffat Khan is an Author, an International Speaker, a Breakfree Coach, Ted speaker, and she is on a mission to impact a million people to help them Breakfree in their life and business.

Please tell us something about yourself?

I was born in kolkata to a humble family. I failed my subjects at school, failed countless interviews for a job, failed my first business, and was thought of weak and a failure. I had to fight through my personal challenges, being called socially awkward and a misfit.

I remember working for Fortune 500 companies and always outperforming everyone. Yet it didn’t make me worthy enough, I didn’t feel fulfilled. I didn’t understand what was missing.

I was a performer at work, but yet miserable when it came to confidence, self-worth, and felt stuck, because that one thing that I always wanted to do, for several reasons I couldn’t, I was scared!

I remember being treated as a failure and weak while growing up by my friends and acquaintances, and that didn’t leave me for decades.

For too long I had ignored my inner voice, my dreams because I was trapped in fears.

There came a time I felt suffocated, I couldn’t imagine being that way anymore, not for the rest of my life. I wasn’t doing justice to the people around me, I wanted to do so much, but I didn’t know-how.

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When I started to listen to myself, things changed, I always had this inner voice, but I did not have the courage to work upon them.

Finally, I decided to chase my dreams, so I quit my job to follow my long term dream of starting a business and helping companies grow as a business consultant, and my journey as an entrepreneur began, but that too came with its share of challenges.

What is Breakfree Millions?

It’s a brand of Freedom, breaking free of all that’s holding you back, so you can become the limitless version of yourself.

That’s the message that we put out in the world through my Show Breakfree Millions with Iffat Khan on YouTube, and through books, videos, blogs, social media, webinars, workshops, and online and offline coaching sessions. We currently focus on helping with business and mindset coaching for aspiring and established Entrepreneurs and businesses. I’ve been privileged to have incredible people on my show, Global influencers to TED speakers, Fortune 500 ceos, authors, Forbes Acheivers and many more from India and across.

What has been your role with start-ups?

I’ve been into business consulting before getting into the coaching industry, I ran a company which was into start-up consulting and managed services for start-ups, I ran three companies, and the third one was for women Entrepreneurs called Femipreneur.

While working on my business and consulting other businesses, I figured out the main challenge wasn’t skill, or lack of resources, but the most important challenge for start-ups is having someone to guide them through their journey. I’ve seen Entrepreneurs struggling with challenges and giving up, not being able to cope up with the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. So it’s basically the mindset they need to work upon, skill resources don’t matter much, if you don’t have the right mindset of an entrepreneur, you will fail. That made me start working closely with a few Entrepreneurs and getting them results within few sessions of coaching and mentoring them.

Now I love to work with Entrepreneurs and navigate them through their journey. Because I believe every Entrepreneur can become successful if guided well with the right support and Entrepreneurs truly will solve world problems.

How you see the current situation of pandemic and lockdown for start-ups?

Understanding the fact that the pandemic has created a lot of loss for businesses, and especially for daily wage earners, I feel we should never take anything for granted.

Startups and businesses may have slowed down, but I see many businesses flourishing and increasing brand awareness during this situation. So it’s again the attitude that matters, and if you run a business, you have customers to serve, be it pandemic or no pandemic you should still find ways and be prepared to continue serving your customers.

Do you think start-ups should brace for the worst?

Definitely, start-ups should always brace for the worst, be it pandemic or no pandemic. A journey into entrepreneurship is a roller coaster ride. You will face challenges; it’s not going to be easy. But if you decide to get into it you have to be prepared for anything that comes your way.

What kind of start-ups you think might survive or excel post pandemic?

Startups with strong foundation, that being said Founders and CEOs who have the fire within them and a never give up attitude, those are the companies that will survive. India being a population of 1.4 billion, there are enough opportunities, you can make any business successful with the right support, tools, strategies and mindset. It’s the digital era, so most Entrepreneurs should take their business digital. Pandemic has shown us how fragile everything is, and we must be equipped well to deal with the rising demands of going digital.

Any advice you want to give start-ups?

Dont worry about looking into which sector you are venturing in, especially in India the consumer market is huge. Just make sure you do what you truly believe in, it may take time, but that’s how you will achieve success. You cannot become successful overnight. You need to be in it a hundred percent. Believe in it, reach out to people who can guide and support you, and don’t give up on your idea or your dreams. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it, because people, who think they are crazy enough to change the world, are the ones who actually do.

Get in touch!

Iffat Khan
iffat.khanam01@gmail.com

Keywords: Iffat Khan, Breakfree Coach, chalgenius, Kolkata

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