WHY LIGHTWORKER HITHA PALEPU WILL NOT NICHE DOWN
The CEO-mother-wife-founder-author-speaker-dreamer-inspiration you need to know.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Lightworker Hitha Palepu is tapping into every form of abundance. Even after publishing How to Pack and We’re Speaking, starting a family, and becoming the CEO of an early-stage sciences company called Rhoshan Pharmaceuticals, an early-stage life sciences company, Hitha isn’t “niching down.” Her proclivity for connecting and empowering women is at the core of her success. (And her vision for the future is only getting brighter.)
In our chat, Hitha shares the lessons she’s still (un)learning and why she believes community is the foundation of true self-care.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING A MULTI-HYPHENATE?
I’ve dubbed myself a multi-hyphenate because that’s how I work best! I’m a longtime content creator. Hitha On The Go was my creative outlet from 2009 to 2018, where I focused on building #5SmartReads on Instagram and my newsletter. I’m running Rhoshan Pharma alongside my father, an author, and I have the great honor of speaking at conferences and to senior leadership at companies I admire.
DO YOU EVER FEEL PRESSURED TO NICHE DOWN?
I would find it very difficult to niche down [to] a single thing. But I have found a lot of value in niching down in each job. Hitha On The Go began to grow when I started sharing the packing tips and techniques that helped me when traveling for work on a near-weekly basis. I doubled down on travel content with interviews, packing and city guides, [as well as] general travel tips. That focus led me to my first book. Similarly, sharing #5SmartReads and growing it on multiple platforms attracted my publisher for We’re Speaking. I do believe your niches should be in service of your “North Star” — or “North Constellation,” a group of goals that make up an overall vision — and the ability to retire a particular niche when it runs its course is extremely important, too.
WHAT LED YOU TOWARD YOUR CURRENT CAREER PILLARS?
I have my career in the pharmaceutical industry thanks to nepotism, and I think it’s important to acknowledge that. My father, former bosses, and mentors gave me opportunities early on to build my expertise and gain different experiences. [I had] a lot of responsibility and trust to execute. Without them, I would not be in my role at this age, nor [would I have] the experiences that helped me succeed.
I also credit my mother for my multi-hyphenated career. When I was young, I dreamed of being many things, and my mother always said, “Yes, you can do that… AND be a doctor.” While I never went to medical school and became a physician, I embraced the “and” she repeated. I built a career with many ampersands in it [because] she’s been a huge supporter of all of them.
WHAT IS THE THEME OF THIS SEASON OF YOUR LIFE?
Calm within the chaos sums up the theme of this season in my life! The past year has been an absolute whirlwind. From the signing of our licensing deal at Rhoshan Pharma to the launch of We’re Speaking to a very busy spring of speaking engagements, that whirlwind is slowing down. I’m planning a peaceful winter and 2023 to spend some more time at home with my family.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT CARING — AND NOT CARING — FOR YOURSELF WHILE FOLLOWING YOUR AMBITIONS?
I’m unlearning my savior complex and [learning not to] sacrifice my health and care at the expense of work or my family. I still slip into savior mode when I’m in a state of burnout and sacrifice my rituals at the expense of my kids or work. (Which is paradoxical, I know!)
WHEN YOU SLIP INTO “SAVIOR MODE,” HOW DO YOU GET GROUNDED AGAIN?
I ask my husband or friends for help to check in with me to ensure I carve out the time to practice my rituals. I’m also blessed to have the most incredible teams [at work] and a supportive team at home that helps me manage our household and raise my children. I could not do any of [my] roles without them.
WHAT HAS YOUR COMMUNITY’S SUPPORT SHOWN YOU?
We are not meant to go through life alone. That means asking for help with the same care you take when you offer to help your loved ones. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength to know your own limits and [it’s brave to be] vulnerable, knowing you have a soft place to land.
WHAT IS BRINGING YOU JOY?
Dabbling brings me a lot of joy and centers me. Some of my old dabblings have become full-on careers. (Writing, for example.) Other things are purely for my own [enjoyment] and something I actively choose not to pursue as a career: Crafting, romance novels, and F1 fandom. I’m interested in exploring the psychology and science behind dabbling and creating more space to dabble!
WHAT HAS ABUNDANCE TAUGHT YOU ABOUT SCARCITY?
For most of my life, I felt compelled to say yes to every opportunity, campaign, and offer that came my way. There was this sense of fear that if I declined, I would never receive it again, and the door would be closed. Frankly, this is a narrative I’m still unlearning. I have to pause and process every invitation or offer that I’m lucky to receive and decline with grace when it’s not a full-on “yes” [that] brings value to all parties.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE SOULCARE RITUALS?
I have to read for at least 10 minutes every night to help turn off my brain and ease into sleep. My [other] form of [soulcare] is wearing a fancy pair of pajamas after a hot shower or bath, making a giant bowl of air-popped popcorn (tossed with chili oil and white cheddar powder), pouring myself a delicious mocktail, and watching Housewives. It’s not an everyday ritual, but it’s wonderful when it does happen.
WHEN DO YOU FEEL MOST CONNECTED TO YOUR HIGHEST SELF?
When my phone is far, far away from me! I am able to soak in the moment when I’m unplugged from my devices.
WHAT IS YOUR HIGHEST VISION FOR YOUR WORK?
My north constellation is to help women save time and energy on what they have to do and empower them to do what they want to do. Everything I choose to do — my old blog, the books I write, #5SmartReads, my speaking career, and the digital content I create — is in service of this mission.
WHAT IS YOUR HIGHEST VISION FOR YOURSELF?
I have a vision of the future Hitha that I keep coming back to when things are stressful: I’m standing in a wide green space, watching the sunset. I’m with my family. My husband and sons are towering over me, and my parents are sitting by us next to a fire. There’s a sense of total contentment and an “I’m exactly where I’m meant to be” [feeling] when I transport [here]. I hope we make it a reality.
WHAT MAKES YOU A LIGHTWORKER?
I spread my light most potently in raising two good, kindhearted boys and modeling a strong, successful marriage to them. I spread my light in my vast network for friends and colleagues, who I regularly lift up, brag about, and introduce to each other. I share my light by sharing my culture so that people can see how beautiful it is.
Hitha is unlearning the fear of scarcity. What narrative are you unlearning? Share your experiences in the comments!