Culture & Lifestyle / ANOKHI MEDIA’s CEO Raj Girn Expands Her Authentic Vision With The Launch Of Her Coaching And Consulting Company

ANOKHI MEDIA’s CEO Raj Girn Expands Her Authentic Vision With The Launch Of Her Coaching And Consulting Company

Culture & Lifestyle Jun 24, 2019

Raj Girn

As you all know, Raj Girn ANOKHI MEDIA’s Founder & CEO, is a multi-award winning media entrepreneur who has the uncanny ability to tap into the needs of the global South Asian community. Her remarkable two decades of experience started with her 2002 launch of her award-winning ANOKHI Magazine, which over time was recognized as North America’s longest running South Asian pop culture, entertainment and lifestyle publication. She also engages her audiences with her Open Chest With Raj Girn interview series which features fascinating chats with global celebrities and change makers. Open Chest With Raj Girn anchored the magazine and continues to flourish, evolving into her hit Open ChestTV YouTube channel. This Spring, in the spirit of fostering her passion for sharing stories, she debuted her very own radio show ‘Open Chest With Raj Girn’ with Rukus Avenue Radio on the globally renowned Dash Radio. Now taking all of this to the next level, Girn has launched her very own coaching and consulting firm, Raj Girn, The Open Chest Confidence Coach at www.rajgirn.comRaj Girn Expands Her Authentic Vision With The Launch Of Her Coaching And Consulting Company

With all that on her plate, it’s amazing that Girn had the chance to sit down with ANOKHI Magazine’s Editor-In-Chief Hina P. Ansari and share her candid insights on the beauty of experiencing a career and life evolution, the importance of finding your true path and tips on curating your very own perfect personal existence. 

 

Raj Girn Expands Her Authentic Vision With The Launch Of Her Coaching And Consulting Company
 ANOKHI MEDIA’s Founder & CEO Raj Girn. Photo Credit: Raj Girn/Photography by Pure Studios.

 

Hina P. Ansari: I feel that your ‘Open Chest With Raj Girn’ radio show on Rukus Avenue/Dash Radio is another evolutionary step in your two decades of media work. Do you share that perspective?

Raj Girn: Absolutely! I’m motivated in my life by the evolution of the human journey. It’s what inspires me the most as a storyteller. The partnership with Rukus Avenue Radio station came to me from the Vice President Raoul Juneja, whom I’ve known since 2003 and I have worked with on media projects for just as long. It was divinely timed because I had just closed out an event in November 2018 to mark the 15-year milestone of ANOKHI MEDIA and had planned to take a two-year hiatus from the day to day (still there from a decision-making and strategic perspective), to develop the Open Chest brand and products, due to the opportunities that were coming in and demanded a more committed approach to taking advantage of them. I had already decided that I would re-brand corporately so as to make a distinction between the media (‘Open Chest With Raj Girn’) and the corporate (‘Raj Girn, The Open Chest Confidence Coach’) sub-sects.

From the media side, I already planned to re-launch my YouTube video series which had been laying dormant for a couple of years due to my focus being predominantly on serving an onslaught of B2B coaching and consulting clients (media, branding, marketing, public relations) that started to approach me for assistance as far back as 2015. That is the reason that I fell into the professional development arena by accident, or perhaps orchestrated by the universe to serve on a different level than I had done so far.

The radio opportunity came knocking at this time, which perfectly aligned with my re-introduction of the ‘Open Chest’ brand’s media sub-sect. Having never done radio until now, it was a challenge that I felt ready to take on and having never partnered with a company to produce content before, the global reach of the Dash Radio audience encouraged me to accept the offer to join the Rukus Avenue Radio station when it launched this past Spring.

 

HPA: There is a time and place when it comes to certain barriers being broken. Why do you feel that this was the right time to establish yourself and share your voice across this global radio platform?

RG: So far, my interviews have predominantly been with celebrities and well-known personalities about their career and life journeys. The radio/podcast platform by default of its focus being on the spoken word without any visuals to accompany them — something I’m not used to — pushed me to make what is being said, deeper than I have ever gone before. I’ve always been known to be a conversationalist that is able to extract revelations from my interviewee that you cannot Google about, but this allows me to be able to go even deeper and have them not only share this as it relates to themselves, but as it relates to society, pop culture, politics, and religion–the four pillars that hold up our world as we know it. I’m being challenged to push my own boundaries from entertainment-centric content to discussion/debate based content, and I’m loving it!

 

Raj Girn Expands Her Authentic Vision With The Launch Of Her Coaching And Consulting Company
Raj Girn with noted burlesque artist and ANOKHI Magazine cover personality, Dita Von Teese. Photo Credit: ANOKHI MEDIA

 

HPA: You are a stalwart when it comes to your celebrity interviews with your ‘Open Chest With Raj Girn’ brand. First through the print version of ANOKHI Magazine since 2002, then through its digital transition in 2015, not to mention your OCTV channel since 2011. But this is radio, a different beast. Did you feel that you needed to re-program your brain for radio?

RG: Absolutely! I started in the interview game back in 2000 when I would volunteer for tv media outlets like Rogers, Omni, and ATN, where they were quick hit Q&As; nothing in-depth by default of the medium. Then when I started ANOKHI in 2002, I was used to focusing on the importance of using written words to capture the mood of the conversation being had. When I took it to camera, I realized that the visual medium betrayed a lot of the intercourse between me and my subject, so it was important to ensure that my subject was extremely comfortable imparting personal revelations on camera in a room full of strangers (crew members) with me being one of them.

My non-judgmental, nurturing, yet fun-loving persona had to consistently be on to keep the momentum between them and me, in these often long-form interviews. Then came the radio medium and I felt the challenge of having to do what I did on camera, all with my voice. The first two episodes took me ages to create because I needed to establish who I felt I was in this medium, that lent from the other mediums but focused on this one. Being the ever perfectionist that I am, I’m not fully content with the output this far, but then again when have I ever been with my other mediums also, lol. But from the overwhelmingly positive feedback that I am getting from my listeners, I’m encouraged that I’m on the right track for doing good by them.

 

Raj Girn Expands Her Authentic Vision With The Launch Of Her Coaching And Consulting Company
Raj Girn interviewing Bollywood superstar Salman Khan for Open Chest With Raj Girn. Photo Credit RG Media Enterprises Inc.

 

HPA: What challenges (if any) did you feel you had to address when it came to transitioning your “voice” for the radio audience?

RG: Great question! Interestingly enough, I had to be re-introduced to my audio voice because until that point, I had been used to using a combination of aspects to create my persona — what I said, how I looked, what my subject would say, what they would look like – whether it was the article or video format. Now, it all had to come from one medium – the voice: mine to my subject and theirs to mine. Initially, because I was consciously focusing on this, I feel it came across too scripted, but once I got into about the third episode,  I started to get my flow going and that was picked up by my subjects whom I feel became far more vested in the conversation.

What we were sharing started to become deeply rooted in what we believe in and my listeners started to reach out to me to impart their perspectives on things we would talk about on the show. It was and still is, the single most important part of doing this – the feedback and engagement of my listeners. It means that what is being talked about is relevant. Being relevant still after almost two decades in the media business is truly a blessing that I do not take for granted. I’m honoured that as I travel through my own life’s journey, there are constantly people on the path with me. I have a loyal community that has been with me since 2002 – it’s because of them that I am still here!

 

Raj Girn Expands Her Authentic Vision With The Launch Of Her Coaching And Consulting Company
‘Open Chest With Raj Girn’ on Rukus Avenue Radio/Dash Radio. Photo Credit: Rukus Avenue Radio / Dash Radio

 

HPA: Your mantra for your radio show is to create various cross-cultural conversations. Are you feeling that is happening or do you feel that certain tweaks still need to be made?

 RG: As I’ve said earlier, I’ll never fully be satisfied with what I do, as I’m always the artist looking for perfection that never seems to ever come because my inner bar keeps being raised. And being a forever student, I’m always on the quest of learning more, distilling what I learn, sharing it, and starting all over again.

To be really honest Hina, I never really know if anything that I do is ever meaningful until I hear from my audience. Even when my peers, clients, media rave about them, I never really know until those not vested in my success speak out. It’s THOSE voices I wait to hear from. As a woman, as an ethnic woman, as a divorced ethnic woman, I’m used to being critiqued, so I’m pre-disposed to being able to ‘take it’ so to speak. And I wait for it, listen to it, and decide if it’s constructive or destructive, to see whether I’m going to bookmark it or trash it.

People who know me, call me a woman with balls. I say: “Fuck that! Who would ever want to be weak like men. I’m a woman with a vagina that can stretch and contract to give birth to life, not be privy to falling to the ground with one mild hit.” The problems of this world have been built on balls. The solutions of the world will be build by vaginas.

 

HPA: Having first-hand experience myself, I’ve always observed how you would carry a conversation about realizing your truth and authenticity, especially through your ‘Open Chest’ interviews. Now you are looking to channel that energy and enthusiasm with your coaching business. How did that come about?

RG: Coming from you Hina, that’s a huge compliment and I’m truly blessed that you feel this way.

In 2015, I started to get approached by C-Suite executives and seasoned entrepreneurs to help them with their media skills to speak in front of audiences and communicate their personal brands to their staff and clients alike. At this time, social media was starting to be implemented by corporates and business’ as part of their “go-to-client” strategies, expanding on it being a way in which people would communicate and network with each other on a personal and entertainment level.

They were seeing that they needed to have a presence personally in front of the masses, and that it was no longer just the privilege of celebrities, politicians, and new wave entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs. All of a sudden, I had another opportunity to serve and to make money, so I dabbled, not taking it seriously beyond those who approached me, until 2017, when I realized that this wasn’t just a fad but that it was here to stay. The asks were increasing to work with me, and the results were substantial enough for me to feel good about my skillset to make an official business from it.

 

HPA: When you did realize your true path?

RG: When I started to see the transformations that working with me was having on people. They were relatively instantaneous and dramatic. I was able to help people help themselves to own their personal brands. It was and still is, surreal, but so gratifying for me, because until then, I had only worked with audiences with media and event products, rather than with individuals, where there is no opportunity for a hit or miss. I had to hit it every single time.

 

HPA: Did you feel that your realization of your path happened when you desired it? Or did you feel that it happened much later than you expected?

RG: It wasn’t something that I ever had on my radar at this time in my life, but now that you’re asking, I do remember that when I first came to Canada in 1992 from the U.K., I was toying with the idea of going into teaching, so I guess the need and desire to impart knowledge was always in me. And as a spiritualist, I’m a firm believer that fate is created through intent and Karma is a result of the actions we perform around our fate – whether we actively or passively create intention — fate will yield to whichever we breath life into.

I believe that as humans, we choose to be on earth to perform tasks to learn something through experiencing them. Some of us know from the get go why we are here, while others of us search throughout life and never quite recognize the teaching of life. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve had the fortitude to have the courage and blind faith to find my ‘True North’. And it is to serve beyond myself. So, I will always be on the path of self-discovery and shared discovery.

 

Raj Girn Expands Her Authentic Vision With The Launch Of Her Coaching And Consulting Company
Raj Girn speaking at ANOKHI MEDIA’s The ANOKHI Prestige Experience (T.A.P.E) event. Photo Credit: ANOKHI MEDIA.

 

HPA: Give me three top tips for those who are looking to find their own true path.

 RG: Here are my three top tips:

  1. Have faith that you are destined to write your own future by the history you have lived and the mindset that you live in the present with. So whether you are an active or passive participant of life, both equally forge your path, so why not be in active pursuit – it’s the only true way of self-revelation that will assist in your doing what’s right by you.
  2. Be patient and do the work.
  3. Be open to the fact that it may not come to you as and when you planned it to, but as and when its meant to serve you in its highest form.

 

HPA: Who is your target market for your coaching business?

RG: I have two:

  1. One-On-One: C-Suite executives and seasoned entrepreneurs;
  2. Digital Coaching Program: Middle management and early stage entrepreneurs. For this, I am launching a program this Fall so that people anywhere around the world can work virtually with me. This has come from the fact that I don’t have bandwidth to coach everyone through my one-on-one service that needs my expertise. And this is also a far more affordable option for people to access my repertoire of experience and resources that otherwise, would be cost-prohibitive.

 

Raj Girn Expands Her Authentic Vision With The Launch Of Her Coaching And Consulting Company
Raj Girn launches her coaching and consulting company Raj Girn, The Open Chest Confidence Coach. Photo Credit: Raj Girn/Pure Studios.

 

HPA: What do you feel that is lacking in the current coaching space? What are your plans to fill that void?

RG: In my space of branding, media, marketing, and public relations, people are teaching skills and not a way of life. My 7-step program is geared towards a 360-degree approach that combines mindset and self-discovery with practical skills and business acumen to establish, sustain and grow brand authority on any platform and in any climate. I have established this through distilling personal experience with business experience, and through case studies that I have worked with first hand over the past 30 years of my career trajectory, as well as through my one-on-one coaching services.

 

HPA: You and I had our conversations about creating a vision board. Why is a vision board important? 

RG: People do vision boards for a number of reasons. My reasons and the reasons why I insist on everyone who works with me to do one, is that it forces you to think, examine, decipher, and formulate, what you want for your life. People do them on a year by year basis that they start at the beginning of a calendar year. I do them for every aspect of my life so that I am bringing to the forefront, everything that makes up my perfect existence, created and curated by me. It makes me accountable to my actions on a daily basis, because it’s staring at me as I wake up in the morning and when I go to bed at night. You cannot do that with plans on cellphones and computers, because you can pretend that they are not there by switching them off or deciding not to open that tab. If it’s on a board and you’ve cut out words and images to decode your life’s map, then there’s no getting away from it. Also, with it staring at you daily, you can see where you might need to change some things or fine tune them further so as to get really clear on the intentions that you are setting and implementing.

 

Raj Girn
Raj Girn giving her opening remarks at The ANOKHI Power Summit 2018 as part of  ANOKHI MEDIA’s 15th Anniversary celebrations. Photo Credit: www.nisargmediaproductions.com

 

HPA: You are a big proponent of meditation. You start with day with that practice. Can you give me a brief description on how you start your morning?

RG: I tend to start my morning between 4:00am to 5:00am, so that I can catch that hour of the morning before the rush of the world’s energy floods in and demands my attention. This time I like to spend alone and in solitude because it’s the only way that I can stay connected with my True North. I have a meditation pillow that I sit on, look out of the window in my bedroom that faces south to Lake Ontario, and breath in positivity and out negativity. To do that, you have to set the intention to do so with every breath – it’s that simple.

When I first started, I had to be conscious of putting myself into a meditative state through listening to music or nature’s sounds. Now, I dip in and out of a meditative state throughout the day and night. Not only is meditation essential for stilling your mind and filling your heart, but its important to tap into your subconscious and superconscious state so as to see and hear the messages that are coming to you from the universe. Most of everything I do stems from this. It’s why it’s so effortless for me to have blind faith to human sight because I have clear vision to my soul’s sight.

 

HPA: Speaking of slowing down and looking inwards, meditation seems to be a daunting task especially for those who don’t do it. Since we are living in a plugged-in world, where everyone is always “on” and their minds are set in a reactionary mode (to emails, texts etc.) what three tips would you suggest on starting a meditation routine.

RG: They are:

  1. Switching off the plug ins lol!
  2. Plug into your being by closing your eyes and breathing slow and deep.
  3. Seeing what comes into your mind’s eye, put time into deciphering it through self-examination and working with a guru if you cannot figure it out, and using what you discover to guide the decisions you make for your life.

 

Raj Girn
Raj Girn. Photo Credit: Raj Girn/Photography by Pure Studios.

 

HPA: Knowing what you know now, what one word of advice would you give your 20-year-old self? 

 RG: Patience

 …Your 30-year-old self?

 RG: Faith

…Your 40-year-old self?

RG: Trust

 

 You can follow Raj Girn on Facebook , Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. 

You can also visit www.rajgirn.com 

 

Main Image Photo Credit (and all Pure Studios photos): Raj Girn/Pure Studios. Makeup and hair by Shirley Wu. Stying by Alia Qureshi and Monika Bhondy.

 

 

 

Hina P. Ansari

Hina P. Ansari

Author

Hina P. Ansari is a graduate from The University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario). Since then she has carved a successful career in Canada's national fashion-publishing world as the Entertainment/Photo Editor at FLARE Magazine, Canada's national fashion magazine. She was the first South Asian in...

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