MF 131 : Nitin Chhoda’s EPSSI Principle for Moving Forward
Nitin Chhoda is the founder of Total Activation, a company that specializes in personal wellness products. Today, Nitin will share his EPSSI principle that will keep you moving forward in mind, body and spirit.
Successes at a glance:
Founder, Total Activation, a company specializing in personal health and beauty products
Author of several books on physical therapy, fitness and more
Setback failure or time when things fell apart:
For Nitin, his life has been filled with challenges. Nitin lives by the adage “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” and on this episode, he candidly shares two moments that had an impact on his life, one personal and one business:
In 2004, while waiting for his immigration papers to be processed, Nitin’s dad passed away in India. While Nitin wanted nothing more than to be able to fly back for the funeral, due to his immigration status, he couldn’t. This was one of the most difficult and painful decisions Nitin ever had to make. At the time, he felt that he had failed in his duty as a son, as the high price for cementing a better future in the United States. At the time, Nitin was struggling financially, doing everything from delivering pizza to working in a restaurant just so he could have a source of food.
Around 4-5 years ago, Nitin was at the height of success with his businesses. Then, the thing that almost every entrepreneur fears at one point or another occurred: one of his businesses got sued. Nitin shares the side of entrepreneurship that is often not talked about: the unexpected pitfalls that sometimes come with reaching success.
The “aha” moment that sparked a pivot:
Nitin moved to the U.S. in 2002 from India. He started out as a fitness trainer out of New Jersey, at age 24, with nothing more than a few personal belongings and the belief that America is the greatest country in the world. Originally, Nitin intended to come to the states to build up his education and credentials and return to India so he could make a better life for himself. Little did he know at the time that coming from Mumbai to Englewood, NJ, he would end up staying and build up several highly successful businesses. Part of Nitin’s success, he attributes to those who has he has surrounded himself with along the way. For Nitin, relationship building is how he learned and was able to go from living paycheck-to-paycheck to living the American dream. Nitin’s love for America and what it represents comes through as he shares that he would be happy driving a bus if he lost everything, so long as he could do so here.
As a personal trainer, Nitin wrote hundreds of articles on health and fitness back in India and today, has written several books on the subject. As his practice grew in the states, Nitin expanded his learning by getting his physical therapy license. From there, Nitin expanded to marketing strategy, teaching other practitioners the art of marketing their practices.
This eventually led to one of Nitin’s first big “aha moments.” As he started learning more about his craft, he came to the realization that health and fitness aren’t simply what you put in your body but on it. This is the spark that led Nitin to become a product entrepreneur with the creation of the Total Activation product line. Surrounding this is a 5 point principle of EPSSI that Nitin developed and shares with Moving Forward listeners today:
Emotional health: being happy with who you are, what you do;
Physical health: taking care of the body;
Social: who you surround yourself with;
Spiritual: your beliefs about the world and your place in it;
Intellectual: challenging your brain and learning;
This brings us to the two challenges that Nitin faced that he shared above.
Losing Nitin’s dad was extremely difficult. What got him thru that period was having people around him who could provide the much-needed emotional support. Nitin also shares this: events in your life carry different meanings at different times. At age 24, Nitin lost his father and he felt that things couldn’t get any worse or better. However, having had the strength and the support to persevere, Nitin reveals that by age 37, his son was born and that became a moment when all of his past concerns seemed to wash away. Becoming a parent forced Nitin to reassess life and his priorities. Moreover, Nitin sees in his son, glimpses of his father and himself; a “version 2.0” so to speak within the next generation.
With respect to the business challenge, Nitin persevered by staying committed and seeing it thru. Nitin also shares an important take away for all entrepreneurs and business owners: have systems, including insurance, in place to protect your business and yourself. Nitin warns that it’s easy to be on “cloud 9” when things are going well and sales are booming but it’s a sobering moment when all of that is at risk of crashing and burning, once you get served. Moreover, Nitin shares that regardless of the legitimacy of the claim, it’s costly, expensive and time-consuming to defend a lawsuit; to the point where it can severely undermine a business’ financial position.
Resource or cultural experience that inspired Nitin to move forward:
The movie, Any Given Sunday: in particular, Al Pacino’s speech to his team. Nitin plays that scene at workshops and events he hosts.
The movie, Glengarry Glen Ross: specifically, the scene with Alec Baldwin’s famous “ABC” speech.
The Walking Dead: Nitin is a big fan of horror shows and likes to relax by taking a 10-15 minute break, watching the popular series.
Favorite app/website/resource or productivity hack:
Canva: provides high-quality stock images with editing capabilities for marketing.
Snappa: another great source for creating visuals for social media marketing.
How Nitin recharges when facing a roadblock or challenge:
As Nitin works from home, one of the challenges he faces is separating work and family. During those moments when he feels overwhelmed, Nitin likes to take a break by watching 10-15 minutes of shows like The Walking Dead with a cup of coffee.
Sometime between 6 pm – 7 pm, Nitin finishes work for the day and watches Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood with his son.
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Advice to past self while going thru a difficult time:
Nitin would tell his past self, two things: 1) things can only get better, 2) don’t complain or moan; instead ask yourself what is the one thing you can do in this situation to make it better. That may be something as simple as making a phone call to someone or as significant as a change in the way you run your business.
Parting wisdom (in a few words):
“The right people matter the most.”
Connect with Nitin: