Keeping It Real and Finding Your Freedom In Action with Vasavi Kumar – Episode 67

Our guest today reached out to our show after reading my life coach blog post that went viral the other month, which she stumbled upon through our dear friend Srini Rao of BlogcastFM. Vasavi pitched her story and immediately had me at hello. I was so thrilled that Phil and I finally got to talk to her after we had some scheduling conflicts. I’m even more excited we get to share her story with you today as she takes the biggest leap of her life as we speak!


Watch the show (uncensored & unedited)
Listen to the podcast

Share Some Shut Up Love –> The only way out is by taking action. Nothing ever gets better by sitting on your ass. @AskVasavi @_TheSHUTUPShow #shutupshow (click to tweet)

Fun Facts:

  • Vasavi is Ivy League (every Indian parent’s dream) educated with a dual Masters degrees in Special Education from Hofstra University and Social Work from Columbia University.
  • Vasavi is a certified coach through Accomplishment Coaching, an International Coach Federation (ICF) accredited school.
  • Vasavi has spoken in front of hundreds of people on “Sacred Hustle,” “Addiction: Looking for God in All the Wrong Places,” and “The Inspiration – Action Gap.”
  • Vasavi is a bestselling author of Succeeding in Spite of Everything, written in collaboration with Sandra Yancey, Marcia Weider, Lisa Sasevich and Lisa Nichols.
  • Vasavi is the former “Keeping it Real Guru” on Kansas City Live and former radio show host of Deep Talk.
  • Vasavi has interviewed change agents like John Gray, Neale Donald Walsch, Ali Brown, Lisa Nichols, and Sonia Choquette.
  • Vasavi donates a portion of everything she does to benefit Bring Change to Mind, an organization whose mission is to remove the stigma and discrimination of those who have suffered from mental illness.
  • Most recently, Vasavi appeared several times as Tami Roman’s life coach on VH1’s Basketball Wives.

Defining Shut Up Moment:

ON BEING DIAGNOSED WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER: As I went on my journey of trying to understand who I was and not wanting to be scared… I went down a lot of different path to get where I am. I went on a path of using cocaine. I went on the path of drinking excessively. I went on the path of needing to feel loved and accepted and approved of by men. I went on the path of working my butt off and hustling. I would have all these accomplishments and degrees but I was never happy. It wasn’t until 2002, I was diagnosed with bipolar. I was a classic textbook case of bipolar disorder. When I got diagnosed, suddenly I was free. You would think this was a life long sentence. But it was from that moment on, I believe every obstacle that we’re given is intended to make us stronger, learn and grow. Learn from it and pay it forward. It was through my challenges and the journey I was brought on that now I can teach others how to do that.

ON BEING DIFFERENT GROWING UP: I knew two things from a very young age. I knew that I was different. I knew I was meant to do great things in this world. And I knew my life was put here to be of sevice to others in a big way. I just didn’t know how to act on that or express that. Regardless of what I’ve gone through in life, I always knew at the core who I was. I’m a good person, I have a lot to offer. No matter what anyone said, no one can define me. The way you get to that is being in solitude. I spend a lot of time reflecting and being here. The only person I answer to is myself and turning inwards. I’m very clear on my why. I don’t care what it looks like, I know that my life here I’m a vehicle for a message and a vehicle to inspire others. So when you’re clear about who you are and that you’re life was put here to make a difference in the life others, who cares what other people think?

ON TRANSITIONING FROM A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS TO GO TO CULINARY SCHOOL: I have my online business. I’ve done LIVE events. I do interviews like this all the time. I’m on TV. My business is automated. Things are great. We’re doing well. In September, I had that feeling something is missing… I know there’s more. I referenced my five-year-old—Vasavi when she was five. I believe our childhood version of self is the purest and most wisest being that we can ever to go for advice. I was raised in New York and we went to India every year. I didn’t understand why people in India had to starve. When I was five, I said when I grow up I want to be a vegetarian chef. I wasn’t allowed to go to culinary school. I’m a daughter of Indian immigrants. We don’t do that. We become doctors and we get Ivy League education and that’s what I did.

Fast forward, I told my husband food is love for me. If I cook for you it means I love you. On a Sunday I told my husband I want to go to culinary school. I got on the internet. There were only two accredited schools in the U.S. One was in New York and I didn’t want to move back there. One was in Austin, Texas. I said screw it. I literally applied then and there. Two days later I got in. I even applied for an entrepreneurial spirit scholarship. One week later, I got a $5000 scholarship because I told them my idea was to open a 24-hour kitchen in India to feed people. We’re moving in two weeks to go to Austin so I can start culinary school January 6th and that is what I’m going to be doing full-time. I’m so afraid that I’m gonna go to culinary school and I’m gonna love it so much and I’m gonna drop off the face of the earth and not be relevant anymore. I’m okay with that because I know this is where my life is leading and I trust that process.

Shut Up Tips:

Im a scared little kitten. The only difference between me and people who tell me I’m fearless is I take action. – Vasavi

I used to be the person who would say yes to everything because I wanted you to like me and I didn’t want you to think I was better than you. – Vasavi

I’m a total introvert posing as an extrovert. – Vasavi

I had to learn how to be real with myself and other people because nobody’s winning. Nobody benefits from not being real. – Vasavi

Every day is a practice for me. – Vasavi

The only way out is by taking action. Nothing ever gets better by sitting on your ass. – Vasavi

It is because I can do it that you can. – Vasavi

I said, how can I have it all without killing myself? – Vasavi

How badly do you want it and how stupid are you willing to look? I don’t care, I know I look crazy and that’s totally fine. But guess what? I’m going to be one happy, crazy chick and that’s all that mattes. – Vasavi

This transition… I’ve never experienced something so effortless in my life. It’s meant to happen. – Vasavi

I’m clear that my life was put here so as to impact others. I’m clear my story impacts others. I take it as my responsibility to keep doing this but I get to choose how it looks. – Vasavi

Vasavi Recommends:

S.O.U.R.C.E. of YOUR Success

Art of Taking Confident Action

Find Vasavi:

@AskVasavi on Twitter

On Facebook at

On her web site at