45. From Teacher to CEO with Julia Panchkowry and Burhaan Pattel

Business Growth

Julia Penchkowri was a preschool teacher in London who was who ended up starting a vegan dessert cafe in one of the most elite malls in Bangkok, Thailand. Her story is wild and fascinating. Listen to Julia’s journey of becoming a self made entrepreneur who followed her instinct and is making a name for herself and her brand.

My recent visit to The Banana Warrior cafe:

Show Notes:

[00:00:00] Burhaan Pattel: Hey, Hey, welcome back to the marketing stack podcast. My name is Burhaan Pattel and today I've got a very, very interesting and special guest. . Her name is Julia Panchkowry. I hope I got the surname. Correct. Perfect. She's she's known as the Banana Warrior. And we're gonna get into the story a little bit there, but she's originally from London, with a very fancy British accent.

[00:00:23] Burhaan Pattel: So , it's really cool. I enjoy that and she's the founder and CEO of a vegan health food brand and restaurant in Bangkok, which is where I am right now. Been here for seven years. We'll get into all of that and now in London doing all of this fancy business coaching and entrepreneurship and all of these fancy talks all around the world.

[00:00:45] Burhaan Pattel: I'm guessing. So, Julia, welcome. And introduce yourself. If I didn't say anything or missed something, please fill us in.

[00:00:54] Julia Panchkowry: I think you just did an absolutely brilliant job and I love that you got my surname so well pronounced. Hi everybody. It's a pleasure to be on here. I love podcasting, especially business podcasts.

[00:01:05] Julia Panchkowry: But yeah I think you got it. All this perfect introduction.

[00:01:08] Burhaan Pattel: Perfect. So I listened to, and I did a little bit of research. There is some content about the cafe and how you got it started. But if you had like an elevator story of how you got started, I know you showed up here because of some dude that broke your heart in the UK and you ended up in Bangkok, take us through that journey over, over the next minute or two

[00:01:32] Julia Panchkowry: Yeah, I mean it was a really, it's a really, really interesting journey. I think the most interesting part of it is that none of it was planned at all. And so I never had ever seen myself as a business woman. You know, I really, I was a qualified primary school teacher and that is what I assumed that I was going to do for a very long time.

[00:01:55] Julia Panchkowry: But then I got into five years of doing that. It just wasn't fulfilling me in the, in the way that it used to. And I was really feeling like. There was something more. I felt like I wanted to travel. I wanted to experience more. I was really, really getting into cooking and baking. And I was following people like Deliciously Ella and Madeline Shore and Nigella even.

[00:02:16] Julia Panchkowry: And I was thinking, God, how did they do that? I wanna do that. I wanna make food and have a platform that where it's kind of celebrated and appreciated and, you know, and I wanna make healthy food you know, so I had. These ideas, but I just thought it was completely unattainable for me. I thought, No I'm living in a shared house in London you know, seven years ago, that's how it was right. And I just thought it was just not in my, I could never hold that in my hand. And then it was really funny actually, because I, I truly do believe in manifestation. And you know, when, what we kind of think about, often comes into fruition without having to do too much. So I kind of had this idea that I wanted more, but I didn't know how or what it was.

[00:03:03] Julia Panchkowry: And about two weeks later, My friend who I used to be a teacher with in London. She just started working in Bangkok in Thailand and she said, oh Julia, they're looking for another teacher. Do you wanna have an interview? And I thought, no, I don't wanna live in Bangkok. But she said, look, do the interview.

[00:03:18] Julia Panchkowry: And if you get it, then you can think about it. You know? So I thought go man, good experience. And it was so bizarre cause I took the interview and a week later I was packing my bags to get to Bangkok. Mad, right. Absolutely mad. And I got to Bangkok and I found it, it was my first international living experience and I found it really, really hard, really, really, really hard.

[00:03:38] Julia Panchkowry: And I don't know whether it was Bangkok or whether I would've found that anywhere as an expat, but I really struggled to settle. I was madly homesick. There was kind of, you know, when you move there, it's like you kind of regress a few years and everybody's partying loads and you know, the teachers especially are wild and, you know, and I kind of got into that lifestyle and I really ended up losing sight of myself, you know, thinking what, what has happened.

[00:04:02] Julia Panchkowry: I felt really unhealthy. I just remember one weekend waking up and thinking, I can't do this anymore. This is just not who I am and not what I wanted. It's just not what I wanna do. I didn't feel like I was kind of achieving anything and, you know, it was just the sea of parties and hangovers. And I just thought, Nope, that's it.

[00:04:18] Julia Panchkowry: I'm getting healthy. So I went out and I bought an oven and I just remember it being quite a big deal. Because obviously in Bangkok, we don't have that in our apartments unless we buy them right. And I remember that evening thinking, you know, I'm gonna bake a cake because I just remembered in London.

[00:04:33] Julia Panchkowry: I used to love baking and it used to just bring me back to myself. And I baked a banana bread. Because, I thought bananas are so easily accessible. And I just remember thinking, God, this is amazing. And I started doing it every week and I started figuring out ways to make it as healthy as possible. And dessert kind of became my thing. and then.

[00:04:49] Julia Panchkowry: Madly one day, I trained to be a yoga teacher as well to kind of help with this like health kick. And I wanted to do it for ages. And I did kind of turn that health side around. And one day I went into a yoga studio and I did a class and I was super hungry and they didn't have any snacks.

[00:05:07] Julia Panchkowry: And I thought oh my gosh, all I want is a piece of that banana bread that I've been baking. And I dunno what came over me. It wasn't in the plan. I hadn't planned it, but I just said to the owner. Oh, do you know what? I love this yoga studio, but I'm so hungry and you have juices, but you don't have any snacks.

[00:05:22] Julia Panchkowry: And I make the most amazing banana bread. I just wondered if you might wanna try it. And she said, yeah. Come in next week with all of your flavors. And I thought all of my flavors I've got, like, I don't even recipe for one. Um, and yeah, and then it was mad cuz I went back the next week and she said YES, Um, that week I would bake into every single night trying to get that recipe absolutely perfect. I created four different flavors, a very simple, but, and I was taking it into school every morning saying to teachers, like, what did you think of this one? Okay. Like, what was this one? Like, how's this one, you know? And I was trying to get basically the perfect banana bread with the most natural ingredients.

[00:06:01] Julia Panchkowry: And making it vegan as well. So it was like, you know, tweaking things here and there. And then they said yes. And it was like, this business journey was honestly born overnight. I didn't have a business name. I didn't have business cards. I didn't have a plan. I just had some banana bread that I really like to eat.

[00:06:17] Julia Panchkowry: And that was it. And it just honestly absolutely took off. And six months later I had to leave teaching to do it full-time.

[00:06:24] Burhaan Pattel: Very very, very interesting. Yeah. So there's a, there's a couple of like key moments in your story there that I wanted to highlight so the theme of the episode that I wanted to sort of touch around or play around with was bravery.

[00:06:38] Burhaan Pattel: Right. And so obviously you've got like warrior in the name. Yeah. So, how did that come about? Cause obviously there's a banana cake. I get why the banana is in there, but what's the warrior piece.

[00:06:49] Burhaan Pattel: Well, I think it was that it started in a yoga studio. So they started selling in a yoga studio and I wanted to marry the two things together yoga and banana bread.

[00:07:00] Julia Panchkowry: So I came up with a Banana Warrior cause obviously warriors such a strong yoga pose, but actually warrior spoke to me in so many other ways as well. The name warrior, I feel describes the things that I try to create in my life. And I definitely felt like a warrior at that time, kind of moving forward with a business idea and also moving being okay with settling in, in Thailand.

[00:07:26] Julia Panchkowry: Cuz that, that really was so hard for me.

[00:07:29] Burhaan Pattel: Yeah. And as a woman as well, not that it's you know, easier for men but you know it's definitely a different culture. Especially coming from Europe. It it's, it is a culture shock. Anybody coming to Bangkok to live, or even like for a holiday, it can be a shock to the system.

[00:07:46] Burhaan Pattel: But going back to those sort of key moments, right? So there was one where you actually made the decision to pack your bags to come over. That that's like a key moment because Had you not done that then obviously we wouldn't be talking. And then having the courage to actually like, one you identified the need cuz you were like starving after that yoga session.

[00:08:08] Burhaan Pattel: and then actually like saying to the owner, like, Hey, you suck, like you don't have anything for me to eat right now. Not in those words, but

[00:08:14] Julia Panchkowry: no, definitely like definitely those, but yeah. ,

[00:08:17] Burhaan Pattel: you know like, uh, and I'm sure it must have been something that other people have also had. A thought of or feel because I know when I finish a workout, I'm starving.

[00:08:27] Burhaan Pattel: I can't wait to get my protein shake in me. And so you know, you being brave enough, courageous enough, warrior enough to pipe up and say, Hey, like I've got some banana bread. Like, can I bring it in that's those are key moments. Like, would you say how important would you say those moments were.

[00:08:44] Julia Panchkowry: Oh massive.

[00:08:45] Julia Panchkowry: And, and, you know, it's funny, isn't it? Because we can do all of this really deep work on ourselves. Right. And we can sometimes feel like we're very static. Like we're not actually going anywhere, but it is in those times where there's those kind of instant snap decisions where all of that kind of work that you've been doing on yourself suddenly very suddenly comes into play.

[00:09:08] Julia Panchkowry: And it makes you say something or it makes you do something or it makes you say yes instead of no, you know, and that is massive. That's massive. And that's when you start seeing this kind of internal growth and internal work being put into play. And I've always been determined always to not miss opportunities because I know they don't often come around a second, third, fourth time.

[00:09:32] Julia Panchkowry: Right. And, you know, I always think. If you take an opportunity, even if somebody says no, or it doesn't work out, for me, I just think I would feel way worse if I hadn't tried because then I never would've known. And for me that's so much worse than a no.

[00:09:50] Burhaan Pattel: Hundred percent. And I mean, that's the reason why you and I are talking now on this podcast, we haven't met before.

[00:09:55] Burhaan Pattel: I've been to the, to the store. My girlfriend's eaten at the store. Yeah. Uh, been a couple times she's raved about it to me. And I was like, sounds like the perfect candidate for a business talk on the podcast. Like, let's send a message and you responded. I rely on my intuition.

[00:10:11] Burhaan Pattel: And so usually it's that intuition that is driving a lot of my decisions and driving sometimes the crazy things that I'm doing in my life as well. If you've read up about me, I came to Bangkok, uh, after reading Tim Ferris's book, The Four Hour Work Week, which you're probably familiar with.

[00:10:28] Julia Panchkowry: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:10:30] Burhaan Pattel: And I set myself a goal of a hundred days to leave South Africa. Because at that point I was going through a tricky relationship. I was married and it like ended up being divorced so that I could leave and buy a one way ticket. Like all of that story happened because I asked myself one question after reading Tim's book, and I said, what's the craziest, scariest thing that I can do for myself right now that might kill me or might change my life? And my gut feeling said buy a one way ticket to, to Thailand. That was it.

[00:11:01] Julia Panchkowry: Wow. Oh my gosh. I love that. I love that thought. What, what could either make me grow or, yeah, love that. Yeah.

[00:11:10] Burhaan Pattel: So, you know, it's this thing of we get to that moment of change or opportunity and yeah, it's acting on it essentially.

[00:11:19] Julia Panchkowry: Yes, absolutely.

[00:11:21] Julia Panchkowry: And I think that is the bit that's so scary for people. Right. You know, and me and you and everybody acting on change is really difficult because it's so unknown. We've got no idea what the other side looks like. And we only know what our comfort zone looks like. When I'm on the kind of cusp of change or wanting to up level, I always say to myself, everything that you desire is on the other side of your comfort zone.

[00:11:48] Julia Panchkowry: and it's so true, right? Because if it was in your comfort zone you'd have it. And when you desire it it's because you feel like it's quite far out of reach, but all it takes is you moving outside of your comfort zone.

[00:11:58] Burhaan Pattel: Right. And sometimes it doesn't even feel that way. It doesn't even. You know you wouldn't think of it like oh that's outside the comfort zone.

[00:12:05] Burhaan Pattel: Like the comfort zone, isn't a boundary or a line that exists where it's like, oh, I'm gonna step over this now. Like, oh, I'm going over the threshold. No, that doesn't it just I think for me in my life and I think it's true for you too is we get thrown into or pushed into these situations because we come from that place of wanting to try new stuff.

[00:12:29] Burhaan Pattel: Buying a oven in Bangkok, like who buys an oven in Bangkok? I mean, that's just ridiculous. Right? You know, so those type of things when we are acting out of spontaneous because of spontaneous impulse, I think that's when change happens and then we start learning and we start growing and we start identifying yeah, definitely.

[00:12:49] Burhaan Pattel: Tell me about cuz you said this was something like the bravery and the, and the warriorship and all of those things was something that was always in you, but you've started Banana Warrior and the cafe and stuff like seven, you said seven years ago.

[00:13:02] Julia Panchkowry: It was actually five I moved over seven years ago and that I had and I set up the business five years ago and the cafe opened two years ago

[00:13:10] Burhaan Pattel: two years ago. OK. But then who was Julia before that?

[00:13:13] Julia Panchkowry: That's such a good question. I don't think anybody's ever asked me that for that's I'm so glad you did, because that's such an interesting question. Cause it's like, it sometimes feels like, I guess people don't want to know so much about that person, right. But of course everything that the Julia before the Banana Warrior did led to the Banana Warrior. Right?

[00:13:35] Burhaan Pattel: Well, you can, you can say that now, but yeah, the old Julia would never have predicted that, oh, you would've been

[00:13:41] Julia Panchkowry: The old Julia would not have done. she was a teacher who, you know liked her job a lot but um I didn't have this deep sense of purpose right.

[00:13:54] Julia Panchkowry: And this deep motivation to get to work and work over hours and you know create and be. But I was wildly creative and wildly sustainable without even knowing that it had the sustainability label to it. Right. You know, mm-hmm I mean, one of the reasons I was wrapping my banana bread and brown paper and string and decorating it with leaves and flowers was genuinely, actually, I haven't said this before, but it wasn't from a sustainable standpoint. It was actually because I didn't know how to get packaging in Thailand. I didn't know how to create you know this kind of perfect packaging. So I was like what can I use? I have that's easily accessible. That's natural.

[00:14:34] Julia Panchkowry: But it was actually thinking that that was gonna become a massive part of my brand. It was a real natural thing that I just had. Yeah. Um, and, But always very strong and fun loving and happy and positive. And you know, all of the things that you see in the Banana Warrior brand now were things that existed in me. I just didn't have a really strong platform to show them off so much, you know?

[00:14:57] Burhaan Pattel: So you were like 31 ish, somewhere 32 ish when you arrived. Yeah,

[00:15:03] Julia Panchkowry: I was, yeah. Yeah. I was 30. Just about to turn 31.

[00:15:07] Burhaan Pattel: Okay. Yeah, I did my research, so

[00:15:09] Julia Panchkowry: Wow. You really did well done.

[00:15:11] Burhaan Pattel: Well, no, I mean, you know, 31, 30 ish coming over to Bangkok, like I guess young enough still to take a brave leap, but then also going through a breakup and then now now thinking like, oh, I've gotta start this whole new life. And like, how are you gonna start a new relationship? And like, it's this whole mess of change. And so, yeah. And so how did your whole how did your family how did everybody around you take it? Like friends

[00:15:36] Julia Panchkowry: That is such a good question. Actually as well. I don't think you'll ever too old to take a leap right of faith you know and I do think that can be and I'm finding this with some of my clients as well. It's quite a limiting belief because you know, it's like oh no I couldn't even consider that now.

[00:15:53] Julia Panchkowry: And it's like while you are alive you can consider

[00:15:56] Julia Panchkowry: whatever you want. While you breathing do what you want because life will be over. And

[00:16:01] Burhaan Pattel: exactly

[00:16:02] Julia Panchkowry: The how sad if you're sitting on your death bed and you think I didn't do that cause I thought I was too old. You're too old now when you're in your death but you are not when you're still living and breathing and walking.

[00:16:11] Julia Panchkowry: So My family is mixed. It's all very mixed. My mom was all for it. You know, she is the warrior woman as well. And she really thought that this kind of experience would be really good for me, I think. She knew that I'd been wanting more for ages and she thought, you know, why don't you just go and try it?

[00:16:29] Julia Panchkowry: And. I think my mom is a little bit of a gypsy at heart as I am right. She would say to me often, you know I would've done the things that you have done if I had have had the courage. And I always think that that's so sad because I think. The only difference between her and I is that I was as scared as she has been to take certain leaps in her life, but I've just done them anyway.

[00:16:53] Julia Panchkowry: And that is the only difference. Yeah. Yeah. And then, cause because the more you do these things, the more you prove to yourself that you will be okay. And the more that you can do My dad not so happy. Because he just wants me back in London. You know, he just wants me to live back here with him. I can understand that it's nice to kind of be so loved that somebody wants you back as much as he wants me back.

[00:17:15] Julia Panchkowry: What I will say as well is that my dad, he doesn't, he hasn't always kind of understood what I'm doing business wise you know, for him I think at first he thought it was selling cakes at a market on the street. And not that there's anything wrong with that at all but it wasn't that right.

[00:17:32] Julia Panchkowry: You know? And it's taken him a while for me to kind of really explain it and show him and you know all of that. But I think he just really wants me to set up in London and be closer to home.

[00:17:43] Burhaan Pattel: Sure. And, and are there plans for that?

[00:17:45] Julia Panchkowry: Yes and no, I don't like to be too solid with plans because I do like to leave room for things that you haven't even considered.

[00:17:55] Julia Panchkowry: You know, there are so many in my whole business journey. It has been just one incredible thing after the other that I haven't even planned or even kind of thought that something that good would happen in business and it's kind of just come out. So I don't like to make anything too solid, but what I do do is I do research.

[00:18:15] Julia Panchkowry: Right. So, you know, so yes, I have looked into setting up into London. I have looked at some properties you know, thought about well if that opportunity does come up like, could I do this? Would I want to There's also an option of perhaps setting up on a Thai island instead, because you know we already have a name for ourself in Thailand, so I'm kind of waiting for a sign in which way to go.

[00:18:36] Julia Panchkowry: Um, and then obviously coaching has just started now as well. So now I'm gonna let that run, you know for a while and kind of let that elevate and then think about where to take yeah. The next cafe.

[00:18:47] Burhaan Pattel: Yeah. So talking about sort of this, just your business journey, right? So it's funny how you call yourself. Like you're talking about business, like you've been in business for a long, long time, and I don't mean that in the wrong way but no in my view starting from an oven in your kitchen in a condominium here in Bangkok. Yeah. To having a store in one of the most elite malls in Bangkok is a monumental feat. Not only because you've done it, but also as a foreign person. Because you know, it, one, it's challenging to set up a business. You need obviously you need a amount of cash to be able to do that. You need a Thai partner and you need, yeah. There's lots of structure that you need. You need people you can trust because, you know, if you have somebody who that has 51% of your business, it's like, you better know them in and out.

[00:19:36] Burhaan Pattel: Like what the underwear and shit they're wearing because otherwise how do you keep yourself sane? Right. So how, if you wanna talk a little bit about those things and how you actually transition from baking at home to having the store That, that piece I'm very curious about.

[00:19:53] Julia Panchkowry: Yeah. You know, it's interesting isn't it? Because I love it when you kind of talk about it like that, because we often I think as business owners we don't stop and think about our journey in that way. You know when you were saying that yeah it's good is't it, But i haven't stop and thought about it for a while be cause it all feels so normal now. Right? So your reality. But it was all kind of very natural the way that it happened. You know, I started baking at home just. I was still a teacher. And I didn't think that it was going to be a business where I'd actually need a full on kind of kitchen. And that definitely lasted for a bit too long having my business at home.

[00:20:32] Julia Panchkowry: Cause that was quite tricky. You know, it was having staff. I had a very big apartment at that time you know, in Thailand you can get huge apartments can't you you know, that. And so I kind of had one like that so that it was big enough for my staff to come in and bake and it had a big enough kitchen. And but it still meant every time I walked out of my bedroom I'd have staff there you know and there were just the people there all the time, it's very hard to relax and there was just baking everywhere you know, like banana leaves banana skins it was just consistent.

[00:21:02] Julia Panchkowry: And I did that for about three years. It was too long and I had this kind of block on the idea of moving to a kitchen. I genuinely just thought, I don't know how to do this. I dunno how to move it out of my home. It's gonna be too expensive I thought. And then amazingly.

[00:21:20] Julia Panchkowry: I was looking for a new apartment and I was thinking, right. Let's see if it would be possible to kind of split the two up now because I knew that it was just getting way too much. And then I went to see this apartment which I didn't like but I did notice that they had an area, cuz it used to be a hotel which was like a reception area and it was big.

[00:21:38] Julia Panchkowry: And I thought we could put our ovens in there and we could put our you know we could get some kind of industrial. Surface built. And I asked the landlord and he was like, yeah, it's been vacant for ages you can do what you want. And so we basically just pulled everything out of there and just re redid it all ourselves.

[00:21:55] Julia Panchkowry: It was a kind of three bedroom reception area it's on the ground floor. So we've turned the biggest part of it into the industrial kitchen. And then the other room is the office for myself and my assistant. And then the other room is where we keep our stock.

[00:22:08] Julia Panchkowry: So it was a amazing and it happened to be the fact that that was a two minute walk from the apartment that I'm in now. And then it's another 10 minute walk to Emquartier where the cafe is. So it was just such a brilliant setup and the way that these things just fall into place.

[00:22:25] Julia Panchkowry: When you get very clear on what it is that you want and where you kind of wanna go the direction you wanna go amazingly things do start wall into place.

[00:22:37] Burhaan Pattel: But then also it's that moment where you actually spoke to the landlord right. Cause if you hadn't done it.

[00:22:43] Julia Panchkowry: True. Yes. Acting on it. Exactly.

[00:22:45] Julia Panchkowry: Yeah. And the fact that I had put into motion looking for a different apartment you know, so yes, you're right. There has to be action. I was actually just talking to a client about this before I came on this podcast. And we were talking about how manifestation is very, very misunderstood. It's not that you just think it and then you leave it.

[00:23:03] Julia Panchkowry: Manifestation requires work as well. You have to put the work in and say, you decide what you want. You don't just think about it once. You've got to keep thinking about it over and over again you've got to believe it's happening. And then you've gotta do the things that you would do if it was going to happen.

[00:23:18] Julia Panchkowry: Right. Cause you're like filling that energy into the universe as well. And then it happens.

[00:23:22] Burhaan Pattel: True. I will have to listen to that again to follow the steps but yes. Thank you. now you, I know there was a process. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that.

[00:23:29] Julia Panchkowry: There is a process. Yeah,

[00:23:31] Burhaan Pattel: very, very cool. You know, In terms of like, where do you see it going from here?

[00:23:37] Burhaan Pattel: You've got now your coaching. I saw posts from April where you, you know, you started like mentioning this on your on your Instagram stories and Instagram posts. Just take a step back before the coaching. So now you've got your business, you've got your staff. You don't actually have to be there but you're there because you know it's your energy, it's your baby, if I can call it that.

[00:23:57] Burhaan Pattel: Yeah. You're right now sitting in London and your store is open today and you're still you know servicing customers and still deliver delivering bread and all of these things. So you've pretty much got a location independent business kind of free of your time because you don't have to work all the time.

[00:24:12] Burhaan Pattel: Cuz you've got people in place and obviously ovens to bake the bread. So coaching for me because it's one on one, or maybe it's group setting as well is still trading time for money. So what prompted the decision to do coaching?

[00:24:29] Julia Panchkowry: Um, do you know what it was? It was that. I was getting probably two or three times a week.

[00:24:35] Julia Panchkowry: People coming into the cafe asking me for coaching advice, not coaching advice, business advice, cuz I wasn't a coach then. And I didn't mind giving it out you know and telling them what I'd kind of think about their businesses or talking to them about registration or all of the things you spoke about Thai partners being a foreigner in business here how to set up a cafe.

[00:24:56] Julia Panchkowry: I didn't mind to an extent, you know, giving them this information. Of course but what I was finding was it was taking quite a lot of my time. And, for every hour I was spending on somebody else's business. I was taking an hour away from building my own, right? And so I was kind, and I was getting message after message saying can I come into the cafeteria and can I pick your brains about this?

[00:25:16] Julia Panchkowry: And can I get some advice on this? And I thought do you know what. This has got to be an energy exchange. Just like you were saying there has to be some kind of exchange here. Cause I just felt like I was giving and giving and giving and it was actually taking from me instead of I wasn't getting much back from it apart from, of course, it's really nice to help people and I needed that a lot in the beginning as well.

[00:25:38] Julia Panchkowry: So I, you know, I didn't mind doing it. But then I thought actually charging is about showing respect to myself as well and showing respect to my business, right? Because I'm not necessarily showing a great deal of respect to my business. If I'm not charging for me taking hours out of building it in other ways you know, And so I thought, let's just see how this goes.

[00:26:00] Julia Panchkowry: And the great thing is, is that it did kind of eradicate a lot of people coming to me and saying, can I pick your brain? Cause they knew that yes you can, but there is obviously a charge now. Yes. And so that eradicate that, which is good because it just means that kind of that doesn't happen anymore.

[00:26:15] Julia Panchkowry: and, and Then I ended up getting clients where we were doing more than just talking about business registration. We started talking about lifestyle and how to uplevel, you know, your behavior and your habits and how to how you want to show up as a business person in your business. And how are you going to do that?

[00:26:35] Julia Panchkowry: And it became so much more again than what I had intended. And so I just went with it you know, and I just thought, well let's do that. And then, you know, obviously I have a health food brand. So then people started asking me about health food I'm not a qualified nutritionalist. But I can say what I do and why we pick certain organic ingredients for the food in our cafe.

[00:26:55] Julia Panchkowry: And people are really liking that. So we just kind of went with it and now it has turned into. An international coaching practice and I'm loving it. And I had no idea, but yeah

[00:27:07] Burhaan Pattel: Well, yeah. So the interesting thing that you mentioned there about the exchange and balancing that scale cause when you're giving stuff for free it can be very one sided because the other person generally is there just for the advice and they're not giving you anything back. But then there's this other thing that entrepreneurs do or business people do is they undercharge. And

[00:27:26] Burhaan Pattel: so. what would you say to people listening to the podcast who are not charging enough for their banana bread or for whatever they're making or for their time coaching or for their courses or for whatever that they are that they're creating and selling?

[00:27:41] Julia Panchkowry: Oh, that's such a good question. And this is something that comes up in my coaching sessions a lot as well. You know, people are so kind of scared to charge for their value right. And that's the way that I always describe it. That you are offering value to people you know, and your product or whatever this is really coming from your heart.

[00:28:02] Julia Panchkowry: And definitely at the beginning of your business journey, it isn't easy. There's a lot of huge amount of work that goes into creating and learning about business and presenting your ideas and marketing. And in the beginning, you are doing everything yourself. You know, you don't have HR, you don't have photographer you don't really in the beginning, the budget isn't there as well.

[00:28:22] Julia Panchkowry: Right. So it's just doing it, everything. And that deserves respect and that deserves recognition and that deserves a fair exchange. And you know, it's not unfair to charge what your product and your time is worth. And I think I read a brilliant quote the other day. It was so good. And it's, it was " My prices don't reflect, your budget. My prices reflect my value!" And I thought, yes, that is exactly it. You know, trying to fit into other people's budgets is never truly going to work because there are so many different budgets. All you can do is show them the value that they are getting for their money. And as long as they are getting value for their money, there's no unfairness about it.

[00:29:11] Julia Panchkowry: Right. Right. And you know, actually undercharging for your services can be as detrimental as overcharging because people don't value it and people think. Well, why on earth would I invest in something that's so cheap? It's obviously not that good.

[00:29:25] Burhaan Pattel: And so why did you end up at the pricing structure you did for the cafe, because it's not cheap, but I mean, obviously it's in a very good mall and the mall on the higher end, if I would say yeah, but it is fairly expensive. Let's call it what it is. So how did you end up at that price?

[00:29:39] Julia Panchkowry: I think similar to what we were talking about. Obviously we are in a very high end mall, as you said, it is one of the most elite malls, um, in Bangkok.

[00:29:49] Julia Panchkowry: And our prices do reflect that. Of course our outgoings are not cheap at all to be in a more like that. And also, we employ very high level staff as well to make sure that our customer services are at an absolute high and also to make sure that I can go and do my coaching, et cetera.

[00:30:08] Julia Panchkowry: I need very, very good members of staff there to kind of manage and handle things while I'm away. And you know, actually our food, isn't the way that our vegan food is different to. Some other vegan food is that we really focus on health as well. And you know, a lot of people think, oh, veganism is health and you are like, no, it's not.

[00:30:26] Julia Panchkowry: It really isn't right. There's a lot of unhealthy vegan food. And healthy vegan food, like nuts, like dates, like coconut flour, nectar, dried fruit, all of these things that we use in our cooking isn't cheap. Really isn't. Yeah. And so, you know, The cost of making quite a lot of our dishes is quite high, higher than most.

[00:30:48] Julia Panchkowry: And so yes, we do charge for that. And we charge for the fact that our outgoings are higher. We truly, we've worked very, very, very hard on our brand. You know, we, we all work overtime. We, we all grind like mad every day. Getting the marketing out on our desserts for five years has been a consistent joy actually, as well as, as well as effort right. And, you know, and we'd like a fair exchange for that.

[00:31:15] Burhaan Pattel: Very good. Yeah. I, I agree. I mean, you know, it's, it's one of those things where I think pricing has a huge factor in people's enjoyment of the product as well. Because, you know, it's like, you see the price in the menu, you know, you're you want that you're craving that.

[00:31:33] Burhaan Pattel: Or maybe you're willing to try something and then it's like, oh yeah, but that's a little expensive, but it must be really good. So I have to try. Yeah, exactly. It has that effect as well when people are looking in the menu or they're looking on the website or whatever the case maybe. I think it has that impact or that effect.

[00:31:51] Julia Panchkowry: Yeah, definitely. You're right and you don't wanna take it to the level as well where people think this is just a treat that I have on my birthday, you know? Right. Where it's kind of, because then you're not kind of getting enough sales to keep yourself going. So you want it to kind of be high-end enough for people to think oh, this is luxury. This is nice. I deserve this, but not to be something that you could only splurge on once a year.

[00:32:15] Burhaan Pattel: So coming back to, you know, this whole bravery, um, theme that I'm touching on all the time. When I first had a look at, my girlfriend sent me your Instagram, the first word that I thought of when I saw you was confidence. Because of the way you carry yourself the way you dress always smiling you know, like out and about in.

[00:32:40] Burhaan Pattel: Almost like vlogging, if I can say using reels yeah. And, and posting your content and doing all of these things and actually showing your life being public about the things that obviously you wanna share. How does somebody go from having no personality online to having this life obviously with like earning money from a business that's operating independently but then also like you know, doing all the stuff that you're doing, because there's this whole lifestyle that you also are talking about in coaching about. So what's how does that fit in?

[00:33:15] Julia Panchkowry: Oh, yes. I love that. Um, so I actually, it's really funny because this is, so my personality, everything that I show on Instagram is, you know, what my friends would say is exactly how I am, you know, so. It's not kind of over fabricated and it comes super easily because so much of it is quite natural.

[00:33:39] Julia Panchkowry: The non-natural part is filming yourself ofcourse. I've always been confident and happy and excited about life. Maybe you know a deep passion for living and I was just taught to be that way, right. So, that's something I've always had. I did also, and this is what I mean about Julia before the Banana Warrior is that I have had a lot of different professions and a lot of different training.

[00:34:06] Julia Panchkowry: And I truly believe that everything that I've trained in and everything that I've learned up until the Banana Warrior and into the Banana Warrior prepared me for this business journey. Mm. And honestly, every skill that I have learned along the way I have used, it's amazing in business, you need everything that you can, that you can learn.

[00:34:27] Julia Panchkowry: And I actually trained for four years as an actress from when I was 16 to when I was 20 in London. And so actually that was my first ever passion, my first ever profession and what I really, really wanted to do with my life but you know, it didn't ever really take off that career but what did stay with me, which has just been absolutely monumental for so many things in my life is just this

[00:34:51] Julia Panchkowry: ability to speak to an audience right. And show up and portray this kind of energy that's inside kind of show this light that is already there, you know, show that kind of essence. And that's something that you are, you are taught quite a lot in acting school of like, how do you get what's going on inside and showing it on the outside?

[00:35:13] Julia Panchkowry: you know, and that is also why I'm always saying on my Instagram. And also to my clients, that it is really important to try and get yourself to a space of feeling good because it is hard to pretend. And I can show you how to bring out the beauty of what's inside to the outside and, you know, show others and share it with others.

[00:35:33] Julia Panchkowry: But it's hard to do if it doesn't actually exist. Right?

[00:35:36] Burhaan Pattel: Yeah.

[00:35:36] Julia Panchkowry: So you have got to find ways to up level yourself every day and make yourself as happy as possible. And the thing is, is that that looks really different to everybody, right? Like what makes you happy in the morning might be different for what makes me happy in the morning and you have to find what that is and you have to do it.

[00:35:54] Julia Panchkowry: The taking action on that every single day is what makes you a high level businessman or business woman, or, you know, makes you successful in what you are doing because you have got to feel good and that's when you attract higher that's when you are more motivated, more creative.

[00:36:11] Julia Panchkowry: When you can show the world, you know, this brand that you're super excited about. Cause you feel good about it and you feel good about yourself.

[00:36:17] Burhaan Pattel: Right. In my case, the way that I stumbled onto that was through a coaching session with a palm reader actually, who,

[00:36:25] Julia Panchkowry: wow. Wow.

[00:36:27] Burhaan Pattel: He had seen something or maybe heard me say something and he sat me down and he said, make a list of all the things that make you happy.

[00:36:37] Burhaan Pattel: Yeah. And then if you're feeling sad or if you're feeling a little down or you're just not having a great day, pick something from that list and go do that. And you, it could be as something as simple as just, okay. Maybe not the healthiest thing, but maybe having a dairy queen ice cream or a McDonald's ice cream or just something that's gonna change your state.

[00:36:56] Burhaan Pattel: I did follow the advice and it worked wonders. And now the list is in my head, obviously I've changed it cuz I'm a lot healthier now and exercising and doing all of this stuff.

[00:37:03] Julia Panchkowry: What's one of the things on your list now?

[00:37:05] Burhaan Pattel: Exercise. So it's, it's quite interesting that, so I started, uh, going to the gym every day, I think since the last two months or so.

[00:37:15] Burhaan Pattel: Oh, wow. And I used to go to the gym before like years back when I was in my twenties, but now that I'm 40 I decided to pick it up again. And it's just like, I fallen in love with it again. It also helps that my girlfriend also works out. And so yeah. You know, we go to the gym together.

[00:37:32] Burhaan Pattel: Yeah. She's pushing me to, to get stronger. Um, I'm poking her around all the time. So that's one of the things that I do enjoy. And then, like I said, I'm super hungry after the workout. And so our thing is to have a protein smoothie straight after. Yeah. So I'm the one that makes the smoothie in the kitchen.

[00:37:48] Burhaan Pattel: Yeah. When we get home.

[00:37:50] Burhaan Pattel: I had asked you a question before this interview, what your favorite word was and you said yeah, at the moment, it's elevation. Do you wanna talk about that a little bit?

[00:37:59] Julia Panchkowry: Oh yeah. I actually was kind of thinking about what to call my business and life coaching.

[00:38:05] Julia Panchkowry: And I ended up saying, you know, saying that it was business and life elevation, because I think that elevation is such an incredible kind of vision to have for yourself right. Just the idea of kind of moving forwards and upwards in whatever way feels the best. The kind of thought of elevation is like lifting, rising, you know, happier, lighter that kind of, you know, feeling.

[00:38:31] Julia Panchkowry: And, I'm always thinking to myself, how can I elevate one? How can I elevate today? But also, you know, what do I wanna achieve by the end of the month? What do I wanna achieve in six months, you know, a year. And it's amazing with elevation because you get to a point where you get used to building and growing and moving that it does become easier, you know, elevation can suddenly become an amazing habit, which is really cool, cuz like who wouldn't want a habit that involves elevation. Right, right. You know, or growth or like anything like that. You just have to kind of start the journey. I was actually just with the client just now. And she said to me, but Julia, you kind of say it like, it's easy.

[00:39:12] Julia Panchkowry: Like, you know, growing is easy. And I said, No it isn't easy in the beginning, but it gets easier when you prove to yourself that you can keep moving, you can keep doing it, you know, mm-hmm, all of that kind of thing. So I just, I just really like moving forward and I think that I've seen so many different ways this with different clients and myself, that.

[00:39:33] Julia Panchkowry: There's no limit to where you can go. The only person that stands in your way is you, you know? Right. So it's yeah. There's just keep going, elevating .

[00:39:45] Burhaan Pattel: What would you say now to the younger version of Julia? With the experience that you have now?

[00:39:51] Julia Panchkowry: I think I would just remind her of how strong she is and how much she's capable of despite, you know, not having at a young age achieved that much. But really just believing in how capable I am Not panicking about the future, because if you even just set the ball in motion of growing, even just a little tiny bit every month, it will get bigger and bigger and bigger.

[00:40:18] Julia Panchkowry: And you know, a big thing is not settling, right? And really knowing that you can have more. And that, yeah, settling is just not an option because there is more.

[00:40:31] Burhaan Pattel: Yeah. If not more, at least better. Yeah.

[00:40:35] Julia Panchkowry: Yeah. Definitely

[00:40:36] Burhaan Pattel: Julia thank you so much. Obviously for people listening to the episode if you're in Bangkok Julia's store called the Banana Warrior

[00:40:45] Burhaan Pattel: is at Emquatier on the fourth floor. Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, you're on Instagram as well. Where do you wanna let people go to, if they wanna look you up for coaching, look you up

[00:40:56] Burhaan Pattel: for,

[00:40:56] Burhaan Pattel: for any, anything

[00:40:58] Julia Panchkowry: so you can find me at The.Banana.Warrior. And then there's a little link in my bio to the cafe as well.

[00:41:05] Julia Panchkowry: If you wanted to check that out as well.

[00:41:07] Burhaan Pattel: Perfect. And that, yeah, that link is TheBananaWarrior.com. Yeah. Julia, thank you again, any last words of advice for the audience or for me, if you'd like.

[00:41:16] Julia Panchkowry: Just keep going, just keep going wherever you are at on your journey. just enjoy it. Find the best bits of that journey and really enjoy it. Life is really short. And I know that that's such a common saying, but it really is. And if we only remember despite what you believe about many lives or, or whatever you believe, if this is the only one, we are going to remember, take those leaps of faith, do those things move outside of your comfort zone because there are great things there.

[00:41:48] Burhaan Pattel: Great. Thank you so much. This such a good ending.

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