We had the good fortune of connecting with Sagrika Sethi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sagrika, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
If you had told me 2 years ago that one day I would be the host of The Let’s talk: Podcast, I probably would have laughed, or cried. Maybe both. But I definitely wouldn’t have believed you. But here we are!
I started the Let’s talk: Podcast right after COVID-19 when I had moved back to Nigeria. The idea of starting a podcast was always in my head, I just didn’t know where to start or what to do. I was lost. I had never started something of my own like this. It was scary and now that I had all the free time at home, I knew I was going to make something out of it.
I’ve always LOVED conversations, meeting new people, connecting and networking and so, starting a podcast was the best way to check these boxes while educating people. But what was I passionate about in the first place? This can be tricky but I was able to take some time to look within and ask myself one question: “How do I want people to feel after listening to my episodes?” This one question opened doors. I had all the answers in front of me. I knew I wanted my listeners to feel confident, relieved and supported by being their online bestie. I wanted to be there for 20 somethings to figure out life TOGETHER WITH THEM. Because guess what? We’re more similar than we think we are. We all go through bad days, we have our moments but we ALSO have days we’d love to celebrate! And that’s when I knew I was going to target my podcast toward the youth trying to navigate life and ‘figure’ things out.
As a freshman at the time, I would see people with headphones at all times, doing their thing. You would think people would want to talk and connect because it’s a new environment, but instead everyone was in their own little bubble, in their little shell. At first I thought it was a Berkeley thing, but as I started talking to more people it seemed like this was just the university culture. And that was quite surprising to me, mainly because we all come from different parts of the world, there’s so much to see, so much to learn from others and so much to gain from people’s unique stories, then why choose to sit in your little bubble? I definitely wasn’t the only one feeling this way. That’s when I knew I wanted to provide a safe space for students to open up, share and connect to turn their stories into powerful advice. I knew I wanted to build a community with people who genuinely wanted to change their mindset and FEEL better about themselves. No one said it was going to be easy, but I knew this little initiative would help a lot. Whether that be interests, experiences, goals or challenges, there is true power in being vulnerable. And that’s one of the reasons I started this podcast – to embrace vulnerability.
A year later, I’ve had the opportunity to interview guests such as Katie Dean, Hannah Blum & Desanka Julia while also creating partnerships with renowned magazines like Her Campus. The Let’s talk: Podcast has ranked #2 in Nigeria and El Salvador under the “Education – How To” category and has reached over 10,000 listeners. Who knew this little initiative would also help me start my own mentorship program – “Thrive & Not Just Survive,” a personalized program focusing on navigating self confidence and providing guidance on coping mechanisms for the youth. I’ve had the privilege to expand my love for learning through conversations by now working as a Mindset mentor and running my own business alongside the podcast. This journey has been wonderful, and I’m beyond grateful for the people I’ve met and all that I’ve learned throughout this process.
If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to just start. As simple and cliché as it sounds, put a foot down and just start. Get to it and be consistent with it. Trust me, start now and you’re already halfway there.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Let’s talk: Podcast is targeted to the youth that’s still trying to figure it out. On this podcast, each week, I invite a student to discuss topics that are essential to student life. From fitness to lifestyle, we talk about it all because there’s true power in connection. Through failures, accomplishments and success stories, I hope to make this journey simpler and more enjoyable for any student who gets the opportunity to listen. Let’s talk: is a platform that sees value in turning stories into powerful advice, and this is what sets us apart! I’m super excited to interview new students/influencers every week who always have something different to say, and the best part of it all is that just like my listeners, I learn something new with every single episode I host! We’re on this journey together which makes it so much more fun!
I would say I got to where I am by simply being consistent – consistent with my plan for the podcast. Whether that’s having weekly interviews, sending emails, editing episodes or running the social media page, I decided to stay consistent while enjoying the process of learning. And no, it was not easy. There were days I was packed with school work and projects, nights I would barely sleep and days I would interview 2-3 guests. It was surely not easy but taking periodic breaks definitely helped me and made the process so much more interesting.
I would want the world to know that The Let’s talk: Podcast is a safe platform for you to share your stories while learning more about a topic you’re interested in – whether that’s freelancing, starting a business, diving deeper into the music industry or what goes on behind the scenes of working with a team, you’ll hear it all form students themselves and influencers in these fields!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m currently in Berkeley right now and there are so many places to visit here! I would definitely take her to some of the restaurants downtown and make her taste the sushi and ramen which is BIG here and also make her taste the dirty Boba which is heavenly! I’d then make sure to give her a tour around campus and then make a trip to San Francisco to get some pictures at different viewpoints!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give a huge shoutout to my parents and my sister who’ve always motivated me to go the extra mile. This journey would’ve been impossible without their feedback and I’m glad I’ve had them by my side throughout this journey!