Today we’d like to introduce you to Mihika Nagpal.
Alright, thank you for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got started?
Genuinely I believe I’m still figuring out my story. This is not easy to answer, but I can say that it’s been quite the journey with rarely dull moments. There have been many ups and downs and not one clear starting point. I have a few principles in life: I will leave no stone unturned and never do something that makes my soul unhappy. The best story is how I got to that mentality in the first place.
I mean, I spent most of my youth thinking I would grow up to be a doctor and even did 2 years pre-med! I was so deeply unhappy in myself and where I was in life at the time that words couldn’t put it into existence. I was lost. Rock bottom took a new meaning, and I kept finding lower and lower ceilings than previously imagined. I truly believe what’s meant for you will never miss you and that those experiences were key in finding my love for business and helping people. It took a lot of “failures” and falling and standing up repeatedly until I found something I was passionate about. This led me to found The Business Hour and develop The STL Guide, but it also helped me in many of my other business endeavors. There are a lot of things I’m really proud of coming to fruition. I wouldn’t have had the ideas if I had one clear starting path.
I don’t regret a single moment and rarely delve into the past. I’ve used it to grow, and those hard times turned me into the person I am today, someone I’m genuinely proud of. It’s all about embracing the chaos through all the wrong turns. The journey is what counts, right?
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road! I’ve always joked that I am the epitome of Murphy’s law. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong and then some. I’ve learned that everything that can go wrong usually tends to go right. I’ve had everything you can think of going wrong. From being lost and confused internally to trusting the wrong people and not having an assertive attitude externally to getting kicked out of businesses to having ideas stolen from me and even money was stolen from me and losing my job. When covid hit, I lost the projected career path I was on and had to take a huge step back and take a job I felt was “below” me, and I hustled my way to being the operations manager. I have taken time to develop myself and my mental fortitude, and it’s allowed me to build processes and systems around myself to keep the show running even when the world feels like it’s falling apart.
I have wanted to quit a million times. Seriously, it feels like more than that, maybe. What can I say? I regret not one of those experiences because they’ve shaped me into someone I’m proud of today. They’ve taught me resilience, and they’ve taught me to be assertive. They’ve taught me my purpose. It would have been easy to sit down and put my head in my hands and give up, but some of my best ideas have come from these lowest points in my life. Take the bad with the good because there is usually a reason why it’s there, even if you didn’t understand its original purpose.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I have my hands in a lot of pots. When people seriously ask me what I do for fun, my answer is work. I love it. I work full-time in a corporate job as an operations manager for a contact center. I am also developing The STL Guide, a happy hour locator, and a blog. I founded The Business Hour with STL Bucketlist and Spark STL, a networking event that brings in local speakers each month with a business skills workshop followed by a happy hour at Ballpark Village. We’re expanding this out into KC at the Spark Office. The Dog Passport with Bark’ n Sniff has been one of my favorite new upcoming projects that is a coupon booklet for dogs! Bark’ N Brews has just now been released. It’s our second edition, and I’m pretty excited about it. I’m a former personal trainer working on launching an at-home program as I no longer have the time to take on clients anymore 1-on-1, but you can still catch me subbing boxing classes at Trufusion! Lastly, I’ve got the up-and-coming CEO SZN brand, a mindset brand meant to help people overcome obstacles and step into their power. All while enjoying time modeling, acting, and writing an EP in my “free” time.
One could say I am a workaholic. But I specialize in creating a vision and strategizing a way to move that vision forward. I’m extremely passionate about what I do, and I’m so incredibly blessed to have created so many opportunities to continue to develop and grow while helping my city and individuals. I’m proud anytime I help anyone believe in themselves, and I’m proud when the needle moves in a direction that is getting me closer to my vision or my dream coming true.
What sets me apart is that I refuse to give up or accept failure. Failure is a mindset I like to stay far away from. As many things as I’ve got on my plate right now, I can tell you I’ve probably thrown a thousand different colors at the wall until a few stuck. It’s a cycle. I don’t accept failure; I just look at it as an opportunity re-assess, re-focus, re-align, and then let it rip! There’s always something to be learned, so if one project “failed, ” what can I take from this and apply it to the next one. I don’t rush the process; I’m embracing the journey. There’s no rush.
Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting?
1. Learn to say no, either that or learn to delegate. You cannot do it all at once. If your focus is to scale your business, what are things you can outsource? Look at the time vs. value. If you spent 15 hours doing the accounting/finance for your business, how many hours of that could you have put towards development/strategy/cold-calling and just hired an accountant? Don’t let ego get in the way. It doesn’t make you any less of a business owner if you delegate and outsource tedious tasks. People are experts in their fields for a reason, to utilize them. Your job as a CEO is to progress your company; you can’t do that if you are stuck and not focusing on the overall vision. Only do what you can handle. There is no ego or race.
2. You cannot maximize all 24 hours of your day 7 days a week. I promise you I’ve tried. Rest is important. Rest is productive. Don’t skip time with family and friends. Take a vacation. Watch the tv special. Nothing is going to fall apart. I follow a simple 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, I’m on track and focused, but I’m still allowing myself that 20% to experience and live life. You aren’t going to get a prize for being 100% disciplined. Remember, C’s get degrees.
3. Take time for yourself. You don’t need to go 100 miles a minute because you feel like that’s what everyone around you is doing. We all have our timelines and purposes. Stop comparing your journey to someone else’s. You are unique. Your vision is yours for a reason. No one sees the world the way you do. Therefore, how can you compare yourself to anyone else? And no matter what, you don’t fall into the toxic productivity cycle. That’s exactly how you burn out. We’re playing the long game here. Delegate when possible, and don’t rush the process.
4. There is no such thing as a glass ceiling. There is no box. Stop limiting your dreams. Stop limiting your capabilities. There is nothing to shatter; the world is yours. Be different and get creative.
5. And the biggest thing is, you can’t fail until you decide to give up.
Instagram: @thestlguide @stldogpassport and @mihikathefreaka
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