Rita Sheth is a lawyer, designer, entrepreneur, writer, speaker and coach. She studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University and has worked in the corporate world as a lawyer and legal consultant for many years at FTSE 100 firms and international law firms before starting her entrepreneurial journey.
She now runs a personal growth and coaching platform, The Many Sides, in which she shares lessons on self-care, personal power, spirituality and entrepreneurship via her blog, online course and coaching programs and new podcast hosted on Youtube offering straight to the point short listens on topics of self-esteem and personal power called ‘Straight To The Heart’.
She is also the founder and designer of fashion and design brand, Mercury Dasha, in which she creates collections of fashion, art and design products inspired by futurist themes and societal issues. The first collection was inspired by codes of all kinds and the dynamic world of science, tech and the start-up world. Her collections have been worn by influencers all over the world. She enjoys creative writing, making art, new music, travel and watching documentaries in her spare time and lives in London.
Where did the idea for The Many Sides come from?
The idea of the Many Sides as a platform for personal growth grew from my experiences as an entrepreneur, and the lessons I have learned in my personal life, which I considered could be helpful to other women seeking to build their levels of self-esteem, personal power and levels of self-care.
The name The Many Sides is inspired by the fact that I wear many hats, and have expressed my ‘many sides’ in my career life – I am a lawyer by profession but also a fashion designer (my fashion brand is at www.mercurydasha.com) as well as being a writer, teacher and speaker.
I have always resisted being boxed in and labelled and I want to also encourage others to expand their limits and fulfil their full potential in every area while also taking care of themselves and building a strong sense of self.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day for me is very varied because I run three businesses at the moment. So it depends on the priority I am pushing forward with that week or month. I try and keep it balanced by having certain days dedicated to one or other of the businesses but that doesn’t always work!
I aim for 4 hours of deep work a day which means focusing on my absolute top priority that day and getting that done. I find that if I am able to conquer that then I am satisfied I have done something that is valuable and needle-moving without getting distracted by all the other smaller tasks I have to do each day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
For me this is quite simple, I just do it, I dive in, and then allow it to take shape as I am in the process of creating. I don’t like to plan too much because I feel creativity should be spontaneous and too much analysing and striving for perfection can kill the expression of it.
The most important part of the process for me is in the doing of it. I start with a basic idea of what I am going to do but allow myself to be inspired as I am in the process.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The ongoing trend of breaking down barriers of all kinds from race, class, sex and education and allowing every type of voice to be heard and every story to find its audience. I love the diversity we are seeing right now in terms of content creators and influencers.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I focus on what’s important because there is always lots to do and it’s easy to get sidetracked. I do this by employing two rules – working in short bursts and achieving one important priority each day by focusing on deep work. That way even if I do nothing else, I have achieved something valuable and made important progress.
What advice would you give your younger self?
There’s a lot! Essentially the whole The Many Sides platform is made up of the advice I would give to my younger self because it is all the lessons I learned as a result of the actions and mistakes and life lived by my younger self.
My best piece of advice would be to have stronger boundaries, to know when to cut your losses with people and situations and to know when to say no, step back and preserve my energy. Basically, how to practice better self-care.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I think it’s true that you can achieve a lot and conquer your fears without having killer self-confidence. But when I say this people are very cynical. But it’s true!
You do not need superhuman levels of confidence to achieve great things in life – the confidence will come when you start doing!\
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Just show up. You have to show up no matter how imperfectly, no matter how you feel, no matter what is going wrong or right, you keep showing up.
Also, take time for self-reflection every day whether it’s through journaling, meditating, walking or just daydreaming. You have to allow for this inspiration or you will get burned out creatively.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Creating and serving your community. Providing them with value. Caring about their problems and being compassionate. Connecting to others with your authentic story and sharing your heart.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I have had a previous business that didn’t work and I had to close it. There were many reasons for that, but I overcame it by taking the time to do other things, focus on self-care and also by just enjoying life again.
As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to forget there is a life outside of your business and by taking a few years to have a ‘normal’ life again, I was able to recover my energy and find new inspiration and get back on the horse again!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
An idea I thought of the other day is to create an upcycling service for people who are wrestling with what to do with the belongings of a deceased loved one and making it a service that does justice to that person’s wishes and interests when they were alive.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Probably a set of ring lights from Amazon – they are essential nowadays for people making any type of video content and getting good lighting on a budget!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
A lot of things…but recently I have loved Auphoinic which up-levels your audio quality without manually editing/mastering audio which I have used for my podcast episodes.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. It’s still such an important concept. I believe it’s so important to stay ‘lean’ for as long as possible – there are so many benefits: it makes you creative, it gives you a longer runway, it makes for self-discipline, it makes for efficiency, it removes procrastination.
What is your favorite quote?
It’s a line from the poem by Robert Frost – does that count?
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference”
- Perfection is the enemy of progress and confidence is not essential. Don’t wait for killer self-confidence before you get started, confidence is built in the doing!
- Focus a few hours each day on your most important, needle-moving task, that way you will feel like you have achieved something valuable even if you don’t do anything else that day. You don’t need to kill yourself with overworking to be successful.
- Allow yourself time to dream, self-reflect, and self-care because otherwise you will burn out and not allow for new inspiration. You must schedule this free time into your diary every day in order to remain inspiring, creative and original.
- Don’t get boxed in – keep reinventing yourself, taking risks and experimenting.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.