Neha O'Rourke

Founder & Career Coach, Somewhere In Between Coaching, LLC

After suffering from severe burnout in my advertising career, I made it my life’s mission to support women who are unfulfilled or burned out, and help them design a career and life they love. As as a result of my passion, I became the Founder and Career Coach of Somewhere In Between Coaching where I’ve helped hundreds of women achieve a fulfilled and happy life through my signature 1:1 coaching programs, group workshops, and public appearances.

What inspired you to start your business?

My journey to starting my business was not a sexy one. Let’s just say there was some hair-falling-out moments that led to my now (very encouraging) husband saying point blank: “this can’t continue.”

I was experiencing severe burnout — mentally, physically, and emotionally. My burnout resulted in me quitting my job with nothing clear in sight. It was a terrifying feeling. Like most, my identity was wrapped in my advertising career and I had no idea where to go once I had removed myself from the industry.

However, the side effects of staying, were less daunting than even the worst hardship in my life that taught me life was too short, especially to let my career be the thing that broke me. I knew I could handle anything.

I looked around and very quickly realized that many other women were in the same “survival” boat of their careers and lives. I knew I had to do something to change this - because life is a gift and not something we should be “surviving.” This problem quickly consumed me and became my life’s mission to help others to live their fullest potential and design a career and life around the things they love. I spent over a year of my life uncovering how to design your life around the things you love, both personally and professionally. After cracking the code, I enrolled in coaching training, crafted my coaching programs, and launched my business!

Today, I get to live a fulfilled life by helping others uncover their unique purpose and design their life around the things they love, both personally and professionally. I’ve had the honor of seeing women better understand themselves, reclaim power in their life and make money doing things that fulfill them - it’s truly an honor to witness their journeys.

Each one of us has something incredible to contribute to this world —and when we find a way to show up authentically as ourselves and design our lives around those things, life becomes something we celebrate each day rather than something we survive.

What is something you would say to someone who is struggling in their first few years of business? Is there something you struggled with and learned from in those first few years?

After launching my business, I most definitely encountered some challenges; imposter syndrome was first among them. Particularly, when I was doing public speaking on the topics I was most passionate about.

Raise your hand if you get nervous in front of crowds?

I started speaking pretty early on and I remember thinking, “who are you to speak —you just started”. In my coaching, I refer to these thoughts as“gremlin messages”.

Despite hearing these “gremlin messages,” I remained focused on the importance of the message I hoped to deliver to the women around me, which was: “life is too short to be unhappy in your career and life”. It was an out of body moment where I watched myself speak fairly well as people listened — asked questions, and found understanding in themselves just a little more than they did before it was my turn to speak. Did I mess things up? Hell yeah. But, I learned from it. Note to self: less stuffy; read the crowd; drive the energy in the room.

Had I listened to that imposter syndrome “gremlin,” I would have never started speaking. I would have never learned what works and what doesn’t, and most importantly, I would have never started an aspect of my business that fuels a good portion of my bottom line.

As you consider your own “gremlins” that may be in the way or even prevent you from doing the things outside of your belief of self, especially that imposter syndrome “gremlin” — remember that you have value to add, no matter how small or young your business is. Push past the discomfort, know that you won’t be perfect, learn from your mistakes and always just go for it. The world needs what you have to offer.

What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?

Outside of career pivots, the concept of being “Somewhere In Between” also relates to being multicultural. As a first generation American in a multicultural marriage, I’ve firsthand experienced the stereotypes and misunderstandings that can happen when you’re “Somewhere In Between” traditional definitions of cultural identity.

As a society, we're taught to fit our identities into certain definitions or boxes. When individuals are “Somewhere In Between” these traditional definitions, they can be labeled as confused, in crisis, or merely an outsider. However, I believe there is nothing more beautiful than being "Somewhere In Between" those definitions.

I’m passionate about changing the stigma and creating more inclusivity as it relates to multicultural identity. It’s my personal mission to educate those around me to understand that while we are all unique individuals, we’re all the same race: the human race.

This year I helped launch one of the first virtual multicultural summits, The Love + Culture Haven, which debuted in early 2019. My seminar titled, “Uncovering The Alchemy of Your Multicultural Identity,” was one of the most attended sessions of the summit. There, I taught how to navigate multicultural challenges and proudly curate your cross-cultural identity. I’m excited to be planning a few other multicultural events scheduled for later this year and into 2020!

Image Credit: Headshot by Rachel Olivia, rachelliv.com, @rachel_liv