Welcome to the Deploy Yourself Newsletter, where I gently provoke you to show you your own power. This newsletter is an invitation to your leadership. You can also read this issue online.


How to get the benefits of coaching without the cost?

I have had a coach for the last 3 years now. I regularly invest tens of thousands of dollars each year for the same.

At the same time, some of my most impactful insights have come from what I would call peer coaching – having a conversation with a trusted friend or colleague in a structured format.

For the big problems and issues of your life, having an experienced executive coach can be invaluable. That is also probably why it costs anywhere from $1000-$4000 per hour.

But that also makes executive coaching out of reach for most people and most problems.

However, that doesn’t mean the rest can’t benefit from the practice of coaching.

Coaching is simply a way to have a conversation with another human being in which they help you see what you can’t see on your own in order for you to achieve what you want to achieve.

I have found that it is possible to grow both personally and professionally – without a formal coaching session. Welcome to the world of Peer Coaching!!

Coaching is so valuable it needs to be accessible to more people.

Here is how you do it:

  1. Meet weekly for an hour. Alternate between coach and coachee each week.
  2. Coachee comes with a problem or challenge they want to achieve a breakthrough in.
  3. The coach listens actively and asks questions (no advice), reflects together and helps the coachee see what they can not see on their own. (this requires some training and practice of being fully present, active listening, empathy, and asking powerful questions)
  4. The session ends with a recap of any insights and a few action items.
  5. Between sessions, the coachee practices the action items and comes back with successes, failures, and more questions.

Even if you struggle in the beginning, have fun and you will slowly learn and improve your listening, emotional, and question-framing skills.

These skills are not just coaching skills, but they are also powerful leadership skills.

At the minimum, Peer Coaching can create a space for you to express what’s on your mind. You will experience the joy of being seen and listened to without judgement.

Needless to say, this can only work when both people respect each other’s confidentiality and are willing participants in the process. (if you have never experienced coaching before, some training might be required)

You can’t force coaching or a breakthrough if the coach or the coachee is not ready.

Leadership is lonely. But it doesn’t have to be. We are all co-passengers in this journey.

And peer coaching might be one way to bring the benefits of executive coaching to the masses without the cost.

If you want me to host a session for you where I introduce coaching and we all practice together, hit reply. It might just change your life.

Fascinating Articles & Stories


Gaurav Sabharwal – “You can’t do business in isolation, no matter how intelligent you think you are.”

I interviewed Gaurav Sabharwal, CEO of JOP, on the Choosing Leadership podcast.

In the interview, Gaurav shared how entrepreneurship is in his roots, and that has always meant he is comfortable taking risks. We also spoke about the importance of OKRs, the role of intuition in his decision-making, and the importance of being present and keeping the balance between work and family.

In the interview, Gaurav shares

  • I decided to help my father expand his business in the US rather than spending ours doing jobs during school break. 
  • Growing up I always saw my family talking about business on dinner table and that had a huge impact on me, how I looked at life and at business. 
  • Our biggest challenge as a company would be trying to emerge as a mature player in this space that we are creating.
  • As an entrepreneur, sometimes you get so absorbed with the passion of your business that you tend to ignore or miss on things which are beautiful and which will not come back in your life again.

Listen to the entire episode.


Shakun Sethi – “You need to be you because if you’re not being you, how will you make things work?”

I interviewed Shakun Sethi, CEO of TickeLife, on the Choosing Leadership podcast.

In this open and honest conversation, Shakun her personal story of living in the Netherlands and how that led her to start a company in an otherwise taboo industry. We also spoke about what gives her the confidence and grounding to lead her team, as well as the importance of slowing down and establishing clear boundaries.

We talked about:

  • One of the problem I had when I was starting my company was that it was difficult for me to go into an sex store and look around while asking questions.
  • I lost a lot of friends when I started my company because I come from a culture where talking about sex openly is a taboo
  • Demand is completely, nullified. Everybody has a demand, everybody wants it.
  • Due to the nature of my company, we started facing problems like banks would not allow us to have a bank account, PayPal and Stripe flagged us too.
  • Starting a company in an otherwise taboo industry led to the realization that this is not something bad or wrong, and then internally you feel okay, you feel more confident, you feel more open while otherwise.
  • After my 12 or 13 hours shift when I lie down in the bed, I have a smile on my face. I know that, we are onto something big and what we are building is like we are in a position to make it.

Listen to the entire episode.


Curated resources for your leadership

Here are my best finds from all over the internet for your leadership. Make yourself tea/coffee as you read, listen and learn.

Pro-tip – Listen and read the below about YOU – not about the author. (reply back and ask if you do not understand what that means)

That’s it for now. If you have any questions or feedback, or if you are new and want to introduce yourself, hit reply. I read and respond to every reply. All the best,


P.S. – I am looking to interview more inspirational leaders on my podcast. If you know anyone I should interview, make an introduction.

(Twitter) @SumitGupta
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