#060 Psychology of entrepreneurship with Leanne Robers

#060 Psychology of entrepreneurship with Leanne Robers

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Episode Transcript

The transcript is computer generated. There may be errors.

Hi, everyone. Welcome to How To Live, a podcast that explores ways to live a good life. I'm your host, Sharad Lal. This is episode 60.  

Today's episode is truly special because we've got a remarkable guest on board: Leanne Robers.  

Leanne is the co-founder of She Loves Tech, the globe's largest startup accelerator, catering to women-led tech startups. With a staggering reach across 72 countries, they've kickstarted over 13,000 startups, raising a whopping 350 million in the process.  

In 2019, she was selected as an Obama leader. In 2021, she was listed in 40 Under 40, and recently in 2023, she was awarded Woman of the Year by Princess Charlene and Prince Albert in Monaco. 

But here's the twist – Leanne isn't just a business entrepreneur. She's a trained psychologist who initially saw entrepreneurship and psychology as two separate universes. However, as she delved deeper into working with founders, she discovered the magical overlap between these two worlds.  

Today's conversation, we zoom into just that. Leveraging psychology to level up as an entrepreneur and business leader. We're talking about identity, limiting beliefs, imposter syndrome, emotions, the whole nine yards. 

Leanne's vibrant energy, candid honesty, and profound wisdom, truly shine through in this episode. 

But before getting to the episode, thank you very much for supporting the podcast. Folks in 125 countries listen to our podcast, and we're in the top 5% in the world.  

Do consider following us, and if you love the show, please do rate us. Thank you in advance. Now here's the conversation with the incredible Leanne Robers. 

Sharad Lal: Hi, Leanne, welcome to the How To Live podcast. 

Leanne Robers: Thank you so much for having me! 

Sharad Lal: So good to have you Leanne, you are such a huge inspiration. Not only for women entrepreneurs, for all entrepreneurs. And as an entrepreneur, when you moved to She Loves Tech, what inspired you to get into that?  

Leanne Robers: I actually started in the UK at a large German conglomerate called Siemens.  

I was doing business development for trains and railway solutions, and that was the first time I learned about engineering and about technology. 

So my boss had a project to build a SharePoint site for Siemens, UK. They asked for people to help with it. I'm not sure why, I bravely put up my hand, even though I knew nothing about coding, nothing about building anything remotely. I did not know WordPress or anything. 

I had said, okay, now what do I do? I then had to learn this thing called HTML and CSS. So I taught myself the basics and through those basics, I built up our Siemens UK SharePoint site that was used internally. 

That was my first touch point with technology. And I think I've always been firstly somebody who is daring, somebody who isn't scared to venture into things that I don't know, but also I think for myself, I'm always very curious.  

I'm always like, wow, what is this thing? And so venturing into the space of tech and startups was of great interest to me. And She Loves Tech was because I had been a female tech entrepreneur, understanding the different challenges that an entrepreneur faces.  

It is one of the hardest things that you can do as you're an entrepreneur. And I just really didn't want other women entrepreneurs out there to go through the same mistakes that I went through. But not just that. I really wanted to build a platform that can also help to elevate, to showcase the most amazing women building great technologies, because everybody says there's a pipeline issue.  

Everybody says there’s not enough women tech founders or there are no women tech founders. That is not true. We have thousands and thousands of really great tech founders, women building great technologies at She Loves Tech. So that's the reason why we've been doing this. And we are just about to wrap up our ninth year and move into our 10th year of She Loves Tech.  

Sharad Lal: What a wonderful story, Leanne. And I was just wondering this girl from Singapore is working in Siemens, engineering company, psychology background. And you put up your hand and start doing coding and create a website. What was that transition from a non-coding background to a coding background?  

How did you go about doing that? 

Leanne Robers: I didn't really think that much of it. The thing I truly believe in is work smart. These are the things, exactly the things that I don't know. How do I acquire that information to be able to do the job that I need to do? 

So when it came to a SharePoint site, I was like, okay, what do I need to do? Oh, I need to learn these two things, which is HTML and CSS. 

Could I have learnt more types of coding languages? Yes. Did I need it at that point in time? No. So I said, okay, this is what I'm going to use as the basis. And whenever, I didn't know, I asked. I'm not scared to ask for help. I'm not scared to put up my hand to try new things, but I'm also not scared to put up my hand when I need help. 

Sharad Lal: Wonderful. And you talked about courage as well to begin with.  

So when you have the courage your emotions don't overwhelm you. And then your smartness can come into play and say, hey, this is what I need to do. This is the help that I need. This is what I can learn on my own. And you go ahead and do it. 

Leanne Robers: I really liked that word that you used, about not letting your emotions overwhelm you, because even as you said that I'm like, no, I have a lot of emotions and a lot of fear, a lot of, am I the right person? And even up til now, I still constantly think that, am I the right person to bring She Loves Tech to where it needs to be. 

But the key word is what you just said, overwhelm. Does it overwhelm and paralyse you. And that's what I haven't let my emotions take control of me, master me nor completely paralyse me. 

Sharad Lal: How do you do that Leanne? How do you manage to give some outlet to the emotions, but make sure that it doesn't overwhelm you? 

Leanne Robers: I think exactly like you've put it right, making sure that at all points that I am in touch and aware of the emotions that are happening to me, the reality is I am an emotional being. We all are. And I am not scared to express my emotions. 

My team knows this. I hope that, we built up a culture in She Loves Tech that you can be able to do this in a safe environment, in a way that people understand and it humanises you. And I think that's really important because work is so difficult.  

We live in an era where we need everything done yesterday. Sspecially in technology, especially in startups, right? You're running, you're sprinting at a hundred miles per hour. And sometimes even more, and so you have to make sure that you are aware of what is going on in your body from an emotional point of view, from a mental point of view and from a physical point of view, because all of these three things are so highly connected. 

When one of them is out of sorts, everything will fall out of sorts. This is where for myself, it was always very important to be able to be in an environment where I can express my emotions, and my two co-founders have been very good in that way.  

They didn't come from the kind of background that I came from and we have different working styles. But they know that when I don't feel right about something, I need to talk it out. And they have given me that space to be able to do it, and in the flip side, I've done that for my team. 

We check in with them constantly just to make sure how they are feeling to make sure that, not just business alignments, business priorities are going ahead, but making sure that they are doing okay. 

Sharad Lal: I was wondering if that part of emotion comes even from the field you were in, Psychology. Given the two worlds that you have, Psychology is one world and you were practicing psychologists, and then you had entrepreneurship in one world and you thought those were two very different worlds until you did She Loves Tech and met so many entrepreneurs and business leaders and realised, you know what? These two are related. Psychology comes into play in entrepreneurship. So if you can talk a little bit about that. 

Leanne Robers: The truth is that Psychology was actually a means to an end. Because as an entrepreneur, at the early stages, you need money to survive. Because I was trained in Psychology, I could go into the clinic two days a week, whatever time it was needed to be able to get enough money so that I could survive or pump that money into my startup, to be able to continue to grow the business. I kept it very, very separate. Psychology was Psychology, entrepreneurship was entrepreneurship. 

Then one day, I remember in 2018. Yeah, Right now, in She Loves Tech we've had about 15,000 startups come through She Loves Tech. We operate in 76 countries around the world. So we have startups coming from all around the world and we will bring them in together once a year, fly them in for our bootcamp. 

And we were looking at the different struggles that they were facing, and I remember thinking in 2018: wouldn't it be so great if I could use the tools that I use in the clinic with my clients to be able to help them overcome some of their own struggles, some of their own challenges that they are facing. 

And so in 2019, we launched our Psychology or Founder course for our startups. And it was, it was something that we were just testing on the market.  

This was before the pandemic, it was before mental health was even really people paid attention to it. The feedback that we got from the founders was phenomenal. This was the first time that they came across anything like this. And we've continued to do it every single year. 

Up to now, I have startups that have come through She Loves Tech in the different years and every time I see them, it's the one thing that they remember. They say, thank you so much because we’ve never experienced anything like this. But it really helped us to firstly, have an outlet that we can finally release some of these things because so many entrepreneurs just hold onto it. We compartmentalise.  

We say, you know what? For the greater good of our business, we have to just keep running forward, running forward, running forward. Our emotions? Ah, it's okay. We'll deal with it when we have to deal with it. We'll - It's not important. Our team is more important. Everything else is more important than ourselves. 

You can only do that for so long. It will creep up, and not just that, it's going to manifest into a giant beast of resentment, of something that will get out of control and will overwhelm you. 

So so many entrepreneurs, said, wow, this is the first time that we can release that we can finally not just talk about it, but have the right tools to be able to process and to work through it. That's really important as an entrepreneur. 

Sharad Lal: What a wonderful point. You think that, alright, I'm holding these emotions. I seem to be doing okay from the outside, so I am okay. But in reality, this then sits as resentment, maybe nastiness. You could get extremely upset with your employees and don't know why you did it.  

Or you could take some irrational decision, it's happened because you've held these emotions. So releasing it, processing it so you can move forward is a healthier way of dealing with it. So when you created this course, what was it around emotions that you did to help these people?  

Was there workshops, did they have to do some exercise or were there techniques? What was it around emotions that helped. 

Leanne Robers: It's a combination of all: these are things that I learned from my dad. And he's tried it out with so many people and he's like wow, these are the things that work and work in a very short time span. So I think that's became really important. Efficiency, being able to not just have the tools and resources, but having an efficient way to be able to process it. 

Because let's be real, as entrepreneurs we don't have a lot of time. We want, we want things that can work well for us, and that can do so in the shortest amount of time. 

You will be so surprised the things that we do is things like, how do you define what you're feeling, what you are sensing in your body, where do you feel this in your body? Because that informs so much about what is actually happening. 

So for example, sometimes if we feel it in our throat, when we feel this lump in our throat, a lot of times it signifies that there could be something that you're holding back that you can't say for whatever reasons.  

So where we feel it in our body also informs us and then using all of the information, how do you then disperse a lot of that high emotions? Because emotions are there to serve you. Emotions are there historically, and, biologically for the purpose of helping you, not harming you. But when we don't understand them and we don't process them in the right way, then they harm you.  

Sharad Lal: I like how you brought it to the emotion sitting in the body. And for most entrepreneurs, your body’s tight everywhere because they sit in so many places. 

Moving a little bit away from emotions, a lot of entrepreneurs and even business leaders have the identity attached to what they do. Identity is so fixed with it because that brings passion to it, that makes you work hard, that makes that justifies the late nights that justifies all the hard work that you're doing to make it a success. And that then leads to a lot of problems that has to do with self-esteem, belief systems.  

So I'd love for you to unpack that for us from a psychologic standpoint. 

Leanne Robers: So for me, when I was in coffee, it was a very clear delineation - work is work, personal life is personal life. And for me, I kept them as very separate. And then when I started being an entrepreneur, all of that separation all went away. I, Everything became just one blurred bubble. 

I found it quite hard coming from the corporate world to this very gray kind of everything is your startup. And even up to now, my co-founder the two of them I spend more time with them than I do with my husband.  

So everything becomes a part of your life. People have heard this so many times, your startup is like your baby. 

Your child is your identity in so many ways. And sometimes as parents, that's where you also run into trouble. But as a startup parent, you also run into trouble because of that. Because if your identity is synonymous with your business, hey guess what? Your business is going to go through ups and downs.  

And a lot of times it may not be your doing and it may not be your fault. But when your identity is so closely tied up with your startup, that's when startup founders (are) going to run into difficulties. 

Sharad Lal: We tend to find ourselves in this track for the reason that you talked about. How can we use some concepts of psychology to try and get some distance, at least a healthy kind of distance while we maintain the motivation with which we are working towards it. What is the best way to keep that balance?  

Leanne Robers: The first thing is, you mentioned all of these words, you said identity, you said you self beliefs, limiting beliefs earlier. These are all part of the same thing. It's all part of your own belief system.  

What is your belief system? Is your belief system that if my startup makes it means I am a success. If my startup fails means I am a failure. Is that your belief system? 

Because the reality is that even you could be the best entrepreneur, the most amazing entrepreneur, but your business could still fail. And when your belief system is so tied up in that, then that's where you're going to believe that you are a failure. 

In our course, I cover this thing called ANTs. You know, really unhealthy ANTs that are in your life and what they stand for is Automatic Negative Thoughts. 

It is the black and white ANT. I am either all or nothing. I'm either a Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneur, or, oh my goodness, acomplete failure. I am either, really great at operations or I'm not great at all.  

Oh my goodness. This VC came in and he didn't even look me in the eye. Oh, he must hate me. 

You have the catastrophising ANT, right? The ANT that says, oh my goodness. Everything is great. Or everything must be really bad. 

So all of these ANTs are part of self-limiting beliefs that can really bring you down because these ANTs are not the truth. They’re not the truth. And when you think that they are, when you take them as so personal and you tie them into your belief system and your identity, then you're letting false beliefs completely destroy you. 

Sharad Lal: That's such a good point. And you've taken this whole concept of catastrophising and created such a good tool, ANTs. I love that tool. And you gave so many examples that many people listening who are even high business leaders, not necessarily entrepreneurs can completely associate with this. 

But when we are in that stressful environment and all these thoughts are going through our mind, A or B, black or white. What is the discipline needed to break that loop? And tell ourselves, you know what I'm catastrophising, and the real cases is this. What is the way to get out of this? 

Leanne Robers: Firstly, I did not create the term ANTs. This was created by Dr. Amen from the U.S. who is a neuroscience psychiatrist. So to your question, one of the things that my dad had created was the four DS. Alright. 

So firstly, you define what you're feeling. So you pause, you take a step back. And you define what you're feeling, what you're sensing in your body. 

And then the second D is that you diffuse. You take all of the, the high emotions that's happening in you. And you say, Hey, in order for me to see clearly I need to bring that emotion level down or those feelings down a couple of notches.  

So diffusion. So we use in the clinic, bilateral tapping. We use the flash technique. But other people can go for walks. You can do meditation. These are all ways to be able to diffuse. Some people use physical activity, right? Go boxing, you would go swimming, whatever it takes to be able to help you to diffuse some of those high emotions. 

And then the third one is to discern. Discern what is real and what isn’t real. And so that the ANTs model is a really great one. And the best way to do this as well. Is to just – it’s such a simple way, and I love this way. Ask yourself: iff this was your best friend, what will you tell him or her? And usually you would not say, oh my goodness, you are a complete failure if you didn't get that VC money. 

You would never say that. And so this helps to put that mirror up to say, Hey, Is this ANT real? Or is this ANT a false narrative that I'm telling myself? 

The other way to identify that, if let's say you feel like you're so deeply in that you can't even see clearly, is what I usually use is a personal board of directors. Alright, these are not my company board of directors.  

It is just people that I have identified in my life. They don't have to be my best friends, but they are people that I know will be able to put up that mirror and tell me things as it is. 

I have my husband on this board, I have a great friend, but also somebody that I respect so much in the business world. Sometimes I go to my dad, I have people that I'm not even close to, but I will call him or her, depending on whether I need advice in financing, Ineed advice in startup. So have that personal board of directors. 

And then the last one is develop. After you have discerned, what are you developing? Can you turn those ANTs into PETs? And what I mean by PETs is Oositive Empowering Thoughts. 

Can you say, hey. I did not do well in this project. But, you know what I learned so much and that's going to make me so much more successful the next time around. I did not get this yes from a VC. But what I did was I asked that VC afterwards, can you help me to advise what I could do differently in my business to be a right fit to you? I take all of those as learnings. 

So the way it's the same situation, but the way you reframe it is so different. 

So those four Ds to me have been really important. Define diffuse, discern, and then develop. 

Sharad Lal: I love the point that after you discern the ANTs can become PETs and it takes, of course, some practice to do it, but when you can do that, then you have something empowering to move forward. 

I was wondering like when you're running, there are so many things happening. It's all on the go.  

How can you take time to evaluate some of these beliefs on your own? Is there a practice that you have that - I disconnect to be able to look at what's going on, do the 4 Ds and then move forward. 

Leanne Robers: I think that the best way to do this is the best way that works for people that exercise regularly. They schedule time. They say I'm going to go to the gym Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, every single week.  

One of the things that I've done is a conscious effort to really schedule in time. So in the morning, I wake up, I make a cup of coffee and I spend time.  

Actually the Great Room has the Greater Club and they had this fantastic pad that I use to schedule my to do's for the day. Why I love it so much compared to other to-do lists is that they start with “what am I grateful for?”. 

And then they start out with okay, if there are three things that I needed to do to be wins for today, what would it be? So being very intentional about the way that you schedule your reflection and also time for gratefulness, that is so important. 

Sharad Lal: I love that. Because it sets the right tone when you have tasks that you can do and be intentional about and get that out of it. I also like bullet journaling, I don't know if you've ever done that. 

That's a good dump of everything that's in your mind, but also helping you prioritise as you move forward. I love that. 

Now, one of the other things that always comes up with entrepreneurs, and I think I'm sure it has a psychological basis to it is the imposter syndrome. So I'd love for you to explain imposter syndrome and how to work with it.  

Leanne Robers: Very simply put imposter syndrome is when you are qualified to be in that position, but you still feel like a fraud.  

And firstly, that definition needs to be very important because I've heard so many people being like I have imposter syndrome. When they're like I'm going to go into this new job and I'm just scared because I don't know, It's a brand new industry. To me, that's not imposter syndrome, that's just nervous. 

Sharad Lal: Normally fear. 

Leanne Robers: Exactly. It's just - maybe not fear but nervousness, right? Because you are in a new environment. 

Whenever you are in a new environment, it's human to be nervous, but imposter syndrome really is you deserve to be in that position. But you think you are a fraud. And so for me, even though I know, and I cognitively know, I'm still victim to imposter syndrome many times. I think it happens a lot to different entrepreneurs. Because we are supposed to be subject experts in so many things.  

As an entrepreneur, I travel the world being invited at conferences where I'm supposed to be an expert in AI and an expert in blockchain, an expert in all of these things. 

And honestly, the other day I was invited at the Vogue conference. When I received the invitation, I was like, who am I to speak at Vogue? Have they gotten the wrong Leanne? Because I'm like, what do I know about fashion? 

But what they wanted to speak about was not about fashion, what they wanted, because they had other people on the panel for that – what they wanted my input to be was really about entrepreneurship. And I had so much fun in the panel. After that we had great feedback about it.  

Had quick conversations with tons of people who wanted to stay back and talk to me about it because there's so many budding entrepreneurs in the fashion industry. 

So that's where, you feel constantly as an entrepreneur that you are a fraud. My main thing is what do you do – it's normal to feel that nervousness. What do you do with that? So I remember back in 2018, I was invited by NUS to Block 71, they invited me to speak on a panel on AI and biases in AI. 

And I was like I understand startups. I understand, AI startups. But am I a subject matter (expert)? No. So what did I do with that? I could've easily said I'm so sorry, I can't do this.  

But what I did was I said, okay, Let's go and do some research. Alright, let's lean into it a little bit. And then can I be able to add a Leanne perspective on top of that? She Loves Tech perspective on top of that. And that's what I did. 

So I may not be a subject matter in many things. But what do I do with that nervousness? Do I say, hey, I'm going to seize that opportunity. No opportunity is right for me, but I will pick and choose, and I will seize the opportunities even though I may not be an expert at that. And I will do research, and be able to add on insights from my experience on top of that. 

Sharad Lal: What an empowering thing, as you were speaking, you don't need to pretend to be an expert, maybe they haven't even gotten you to be an expert.  

So you can look at whatever people already know. That's fine, but you are adding your valuable experience and insights as you see it. And given your vantage point, you would have a unique way of looking at it, and people are interested in that. I love that, it’s very empowering. That doesn't put any pressure, but that's putting your knowledge out there. 

Leanne Robers: Exactly. When I first started doing public speaking, firstly I'm terrified. I've severe stage fright. But I practisee this. 

Sharad Lal: Seriously? (Laughs) 

Leanne Robers: Seriously. Seriously. (Laughs) 

Sharad Lal: Doesn’t seem like it, but okay. (Laughs). 

Leanne Robers: Yes, I remember the first time I had to set the onstage and it was I think it was like 2007, 2008, and I had to do this for work. And I was shaking so much, that I could not even get the one sentence that I was to say, I could not even get that out of my mouth.  

But I have grown a lot and again, imposter syndrome, right? I've said, okay. You know what? This is what I need to do. For She Loves Tech and for me to do my job well, so I'm going to learn. And I practise and I practise and I practise. 

In the early stages I would, my husband would tell you this, the nights that I used to just script out every single word. Really, I would memorize every single word and I will practise and practics. And, say it to my husband, he would give me feedback. We'll do it over and over again until three, 4:00 AM in the morning when we both had to work early the next day, but I practice and I practice a lot. And then now I don't need those scripts.  

Sometimes I, even in this conversation, I didn't need to even really prepare anything. Because I've done it enough times and that's what practice does for you. It builds up that muscle so that, you are, you're able to be able to live something without really thinking about it. 

Sharad Lal: It creates that skill, which is available later on in life. Not only for that occasion, you're building skill for the medium to long term, which is such an important reason to practice it. 

You keep talking about learning more, reading up, more, researching more. What is your process in doing any of this – a new thing like AI comes, how do you immerse yourself and try to get to know as much as you can about it. 

Leanne Robers: There are some people that say, hey, this is a new technology and I'm just going to read up as much as I can. The reality is I don't do that. I see it just from, does this make sense from my business and for my job to be able to learn about this. 

So we are fortunate in that sense to get a lot of trends, tech trends because of the work that we do at She Loves Tech. Because we see thousands of entrepreneurs come through She Loves Tech’s doors. 

And we're able to see the kind of new technologies that are out there. Because of that, we always kept abreast as to what are the new tech trends. 

On top of that, we say, okay what additional information do we need to be able to do our job? So let's say it is, we're doing our acceleration program, then what do we need to be able to help these entrepreneurs? What do we need to be able to help to make that deal?  

And that's when firstly, you're not going to be able to learn everything by yourself. Tap on other people who are existing experts. And go and have coffee with them and say, hey, can you tell me a little bit more about the specifically this, right? Or can you look at this and tell me what your opinions, your thoughts about it. 

Technology's changing so much that if we just try to learn everything, we're going to always feel like we're sinking. 

Sharad Lal: I love your approach when you have so many of these things. And you've talked about it through the podcast being smart. Sitting back and not getting overwhelmed and seeing what are the important activities. Then being conscious and intentional about it and just doing that so that you can manage the whole thing.  

So that's a trend, right? From the Siemens days til now, which has done you well. 

Leanne Robers: Yeah. I think even though that I definitely have been a victim of not feeling like I'm everything, not feeling like I'm smart enough. Sometimes not feeling like I'm the most capable person for the job. What has been the best thing for my success is my curiosity. And is the fact that I'm really unafraid to learn anything. 

Sharad Lal: There's another point I'd like to go deeper into, which gets talked about a – authenticity. When you're an entrepreneur, sometimes you have to spin stories, sometimes you might need to shift the truth a little bit, whatever your boundary is. 

So how do you think of authenticity, entrepreneurship and leadership. How does that, what's the role it has to play. 

Leanne Robers: As a leader, especially in this era, you have to be authentic. Your greatest assets is not going to be your tech products.  

Your greatest assets are your people. And if your people don't see you as an authentic leader, isn't a person that they feel like they can get behind and follow through the deep trenches, then that's where you're going to lose your biggest assets. So it is so important.  

And when we think about authenticity, we will think about the word vulnerability. 

What I think a lot of people don't quite understand about vulnerability is that people think as a leader, you have to be vulnerable to others. 

But actually the biggest thing for you to be successful is you need to be first vulnerable to yourself, which is a lot of times, way harder than to be vulnerable to other people. You need to sometimes confront your darkest side. You need to be able to see all your flaws as uncomfortable as it is and say, okay, is this helping myself and my business to be able to move forward? And I think that's what we don't talk enough about.  

Sharad Lal: It's like vulnerability to face up. Because you also sometimes try and fool yourself to keep moving forward, but you need to take a step back and look at, am I the right person to take this to the next level. 

Is there fear that has certainly crept into me? Being vulnerable and honest with yourself and then getting yourself in the right place or getting someone else. 

Leanne Robers: Exactly. And I think once you are in touch with that vulnerability to yourself, You know what your true strengths and your true gaps are. there's so many founders that honestly, should not be CEOs of the organization. But because they're not being honest with themselves, vulnerable to themselves, hey don't identify that. Everybody can see that, but they don't see that. 

it really takes a very strong leader, a very aware leader to be in touch with that and to say, hey. For the sake of the organisation, I may need to bring somebody in to lead this next phase of the company. 

Sharad Lal: Great point. Leanne, we've talked about so many things. Is there any area that you think we haven't touched upon that we should talk about? 

Leanne Robers: No, I think we talked about a lot. Is there anything else that you would like to know? 

Sharad Lal: So I have two last questions for you. The first would be out of all these things. What's the one bottomline you'd like to leave listeners with.  

If they’re thinking about entrepreneurships, or could be entrepreneurs already.  

Leanne Robers: When I think about the success of entrepreneurs, the two things that come to mind the most is relationships and resiliency. 

As a founder, this is going to be – people don't understand how tough being an entrepreneur is. I honestly would never wish this for anybody truly. Because it's really not for everybody. 

The kind of things that we've gone through as an entrepreneur, sometimes I'm like, how am I still standing? You go through high highs, but you also go through really deep lows. 

And that's why you have so many founders who ended up burnt out, depressed, highly anxious and many more mental health disorders.  

You need the physical, the emotional, the mental resiliency to be able to bounce back no matter what is thrown at you.  

The other thing is relationships. You need to build relationships, even when you don't need the relationships at that moment. You need to build this whole network of people who you have trust with and who trusts you. Because you can't do this alone. 

And you do not know when these people may come into your life. Or may come into your business. 

Sharad Lal: Wonderful points there, Leanne. Before we end one question on a personal or just shifting tracks completely, you've done so well. 

You're such a good role model to so many people. And this is a question I asked many people. At the end of your life, how would you know you've lived a good life? 

Leanne Robers: This is a tough question.  

So when I think about impact, we just can't keep chasing numbers. 

If we keep chasing numbers, we’re never going to be fulfilled. But that fulfilment and personal contentment to know that this is something that makes me feel content is really important. 

And then the other thing is the people that surround you. That is my greatest contentment. I have the most amazing husband and even if I did not have She Loves Tech, will I be content?  

Probably. Because he just brings me so much joy. And I think finding the things that bring you joy, whether it's personal impact, whether it's relationships. That's really important.  

Sharad Lal: What a wonderful insight. Thank you, Leanne for this powerful emotion-filled, passionate, honest conversation. So much wisdom, so much common sense and practical wisdom there. Thank you very much for being in our podcast.  

Leanne Robers: Thank you so much for having me. I had so much fun. 

Thank you, Leanne for such an authentic, passionate conversation. For more on Leanne, I will post the relevant links in the show notes. Here's an action step all of us could consider. It's a simple one, but really powerful. Converting those ANTs to PETs. 

What's an automatic negative thought we have nowadays? Is it around work or life? Don't think too much. See whatever comes up to you. 

Now let's examine the thought. What part of it is dramatised and what is true? Let's understand the thought for what it really is. And remove the exaggeration around it. How can we turn this into a PET? A positive empowering thought.  

Is there anything positive about the thought? Any area for growth for us? How can we focus on that? 

Best of luck. I hope you enjoyed this episode. The next episode will drop two weeks from now on February 13th. Do join us for that. Til next time. Have a wonderful day ahead. Bye bye.