EP #15: Thiviyaa Sehasothy – Marketing Professional By Day, Savvy Art Entrepreneur By Night

Thiviyaa Sehasothy, aka Art By Thiviyaa, is a Toronto artist and painter whose specialty is creating magic on canvas with custom & original work for clients. She joins Ara to discuss various topics including her first sale, how exhibitions built her confidence, the simultaneous balance between being an artist and a small business owner, and the personal legacy she wants to leave behind.

**TAKE THE QUIZ – “What Type of Creator Are You?”**

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Connect with Thiviyaa – https://www.instagram.com/artbythiviyaa/

Timestamps:

01:06 – Introducing Thiviyaa Sehasothy aka Art By Thiviyaa
04:05 – Thiviyaa credits her brother for her success
07:41 – Ara’s brother impersonates him in public
09:15 – How Art By Thiviyaa came to be
14:15 – How exhibitions built Thiviyaa’s confidence
19:03 – Thiviyaa’s first sale
23:30 – How Thiviyaa balances being an artist and a small business owner
26:36 – The difference between an original piece and a print
29:59 – Thiviyaa’s most popular art pieces
31:40 – The concept of doing something once and being paid for it repeatedly
34:20 – NFTs
40:58 – Thiviyaa’s biggest insecurity
46:59 – Where Thiviyaa sees herself in the next 3-5 years
50:35 – How Thiviyaa views money, the importance of valuing your work
58:55 – The personal legacy Thiviyaa wants to leave behind
59:52 – Advice Thiviyaa would give to other Tamil creators
1:02:02 – Creator Confessions
1:07:35 – The wrap up

EP #14: Yanchan – Popular Carnatic Hip Hop Producer Talks About His Drake-Inspired Dreams, Love For Scarborough & Financial Freedom

Yanchan is a Scarborough-raised producer who blends hip-hop with Carnatic music. He joins Ara for what could be considered the Scarborough episode, to discuss how he fell in love with music and achieved his childhood dreams of performing on tour, his recently released Scarborough Beat Tape, how to make money off of music, why he doesn’t turn down opportunities anymore, and a lot more!

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Connect with Yanchan –https://www.instagram.com/yanchanproduced/

Timestamps:

01:06 – Introducing Yanchan
03:37 – Studying economics at Laurier, family’s view on his career ambitions
07:08 – The Scarborough Beat Tape, nostalgia for the city
14:13 – Achieving his childhood dream of performing on tour
18:22 – Shan Vincent de Paul and the track “best friend”
20:39 – The Tamil music scene, artists who Yanchan wants to collaborate with
21:56 – Being inspired by another music producers, and wanting to give back in a similar way
23:14 – How does Yanchan make money (Spotify, selling beats, artist development)
28:11 – COVID-inspired business ideas
30:14 – Why Yanchan takes every shot he gets
32:28 – Networking as an introvert, wanting to connect the Indian and American markets
34:56 – Yanchan’s admiration for Drake, and wanting to mimic his career
36:26 – Financial freedom
38:14 – How has the Tamil community impacted Yanchan
39:14 – Beliefs and behaviours which have improved Yanchan’s life
42:03 – How Yanchan decompresses from work, prioritization of family/friends
43:29 – Yanchan’s advice for other creators
44:06 – Creator Confessions
46:16 – The wrap up

EP #13: Tanya Yoganathan – Momtrepreneur Created An E-Commerce Business That Netflix Star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan Is A Fan Of

Tanya Yoganathan is a mother of two, and the creator of Her Sun & Stars Co. She joins Ara to discuss how she started a business during the start of the pandemic and was able to quit her full-time job because of it. They also discuss Maitreyi Ramakrishnan shouting out Tanya’s company, impostor syndrome, and the importance of financial literacy before jumping into the new segment Creator Confessions.

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Connecting with Tanya –https://www.instagram.com/tanya.yoganathan/
Visit Her Sun And Stars Co. –https://www.instagram.com/hersunandstars.co/



Timestamps:
01:06 – Tanya starts the podcast
01:53 – Ara starts the podcast
03:17 – How Tanya and Ara met, and can Ara speak Tamil?
06:17 – Introducing Tanya Yoganathan, being Instagram famous, how Her Sun & Stars came to be
20:05 – Starting and successfully growing her business (during the pandemic) while working a full-time job
28:13 – Previously work as an advisor in analytics, struggling to celebrate milestones
32:47 – Getting her first celebrity shoutout from Maitreyi Ramakrishnan
37:26 – Why Ara started the podcast
40:17 – Tanya’s first sale, quality vs. time
51:24 – Balancing insecurities and confidence, impostor syndrome
56:37 – Starting a business with kids
59:53 – Viewing money as a tool, the importance of financial literacy
1:00:07 – The FIRE movement
1:08:49 – Personal legacy, Nick Offerman, Ernest Hemmingway, and S.P. Balasubrahmanyam
1:11:51 – The lost art of being able to disagree with someone
1:13:20 – The importance of starting
1:15:57 – Creator Confessions (Tanya’s favourite Tamil creators, when she wants to retire, and more)
1:30:13 – The wrap up

EP #12: Dayalan Mahesan – How A UK-Based DJ & Car Enthusiast Became A Full-Time Property Investor By Age 40

Dayalan Mahesan is the owner of Joseph Property Group, which specializes in property development, management and sales in the UK. He joins Ara to discuss growing up in an entrepreneurial environment, how he raised money with his wife for the Sri Lanka Easter bombing victims, having Burrito Boyz delivered by plane, why ketchup was created, being of a big fan of the Liverpool Football Club, and much more.

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Connecting with Dayalan – https://www.instagram.com/lifeofdayalan/

Timestamps:

00:15 – Introducing Dayalan Mahesan
02:26 – How Ara and Dayalan were both influenced by entrepreneurial fathers
05:22 – Connecting with the Tamil community in London before Facebook
07:27 – Who is DJ Biznus?
08:56 – COVID’s impact on Dayalan’s life and London
10:48 – Fusing Sri Lankan / Caribbean food to raise money for Easter bombing victims
12:31 – Supporting his wife’s entrepreneurial efforts
14:07 – Passion for property, working with the South Asian forum
16:13 – Wanting to mentor people and help the underprivileged
18:52 – Previously being very shy, developing public speaking skills and reading more
20:06 – Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer
23:10 – Ara confesses to bribing Dayalan
23:54 – The time Ara delivered Burrito Boyz from Canada to Dayalan in England
24:47 – How a funeral in 2017 changed Dayalan’s perspective
26:24 – Wanting to be remembered in same light as his late father
28:50 – The impact of the London-Tamil community on Dayalan
30:52 – Who inspires Dayalan? Why was ketchup created?
35:07 – The importance of surrounding yourself with likeminded people
37:11 – Speed round

EP #11: JYXDI (Jyothee Murali) – Amassing Over 150K Followers And Collecting $10,000 For A Single Piece of Art

Jyothee Murali, better known as JYXDI, is a 25 year old Tamil self-taught artist from Toronto who has found massive success on Instagram over the last half-decade. She joins Ara to discuss what it was like dropping out of university to chase her childhood passion for art, being handpicked by Michael B. Jordan to collaborate with Coach, creating art for Noah “OVO40” Shebib, and how her work has turned family skepticism to family support.

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Connecting with JYXDI – https://www.instagram.com/jyxdi/

Timestamps:

00:15 – Introducing Jyothee Muraliaka JYXDI
01:06 – How death note sparked her interest in anime
03:17 – Dropping out of school to pursue her passion and dealing with the pressure of south asian parents
04:33 – Being handpicked by Michael B. Jordan to collaborate with Coach
05:50 – Thoughts on NFTs and decision to release two pieces recently
07:18 – How her work has turned family skepticism to family support
09:01 – Using social media to create exposure, how she came up with the moniker JYXDI, and how anime has helped grow her brand
11:15 – Playing in chess tournaments growing up, and her love for hiking and Bali
12:31 – The types of people she surrounds herself with, being an introvert during COVID
14:05 – Plans to move out of Canada and to build an art school
15:23 – Teaching Tamil seniors how to paint
16:41 – Favourite books/podcasts
17:51 – Practicing discipline and meditation
18:56 – Growing up in Sri Lanka during the genocide, still visiting frequently
20:49 – The impact of the Toronto-Tamil community, being contacted to teach art 1-on-1
22:24 – Oil paintings being her favourite art-type to produce
22:56 – OVO40 (Drake’s Producer) and La Mar C. Taylor (Creative Director for The Weeknd) reaching out for art pieces
24:09 – Wanting to be known for taking a leap of faith and going against the grain
24:34 – From selling paintings at $100 a piece to now sometimes getting $10,000 per piece
26:36 – Being inspired by A.R. Rahman, OVO40
28:21 – Advice she would give to young aspiring artists
29:56 – Speed Round

EP #10: Vijay Sappani – Co-Founder Of A Billion-Dollar Cannabis Company, Philanthropist And Rare Disease Hunter

*Vijay Sappani is a Tamil cannabis entrepreneur and investor who co-founded a billion-dollar company called TerrAscend.  He joins Ara to speak about biryani, biryani, and more biryani. They also cover topics such as why he entered the medical cannabis industry, the process of taking a company public and receiving a billion dollar evaluation, and if money can buy happiness.


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Connect with Vijay –https://www.instagram.com/elacapital/

Timestamps:
00:15 – Introducing Vijay Sappani
01:53 – Nuanced opinions in the Tamil community
05:17 – Vijay’s obsession with biryani, and where to find the best kind
08:16 – Why Vijay entered the medical cannabis industry
12:20 – The biggest challenges Vijay faced upon starting his business
14:13 – Skepticism that Vijay faced early on, and important mentors
17:19 – Taking TerrAscend public and receiving a billion dollar evaluation
22:47 – The importance of knowing when it’s time to step aside
24:51 – Can money buy happiness? Has money changed Vijay?
28:52 – Ela Capital
30:45 – Companies that Vijay has invested in
35:12 – Money being a taboo subject in the Tamil community
39:10 – Vijay’s daughter having a rare genetic disorder, starting a foundation in her name
43:34 – How Vijay balances work and life
46:28 – Wanting to be remembered as “Mr. Troublemaker”
47:44 – Growing into his Tamil identity, and funding projects in Sri Lanka with his wife
53:08 – Ara asks for one piece of advice for Tamil creators; Vijay gives way more
57:31 – Would you rather speed round

EP #9: Sashee Chandran – A Chrissy Tiegen Tweet Helped Turn A Passion Project Into Tea Drops, A Multi-Million Dollar Company

Sashee Chandran is the Founder & CEO of California based company, Tea Drops. After initially starting the brand as a passion project and side gig, she has raised $3.5 million and garnered mainstream attention from the likes of Chrissy Teigen and Tory Burch. She joins Ara to discuss growing up on a tea estate and learning to sell from a young age, how one tweet changed her entire life, and the power of both learning to let go and celery juice.


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Connect with Sashee – https://www.instagram.com/sasheechandran/
Follow Tea Drops – https://www.instagram.com/myteadrop/

Timestamps:

00:15 – Introducing Sashee Chandran
01:23 – Growing up on a tea estate with entrepreneurial parents
04:35 – Learning to sell from a young age
05:24 – Starting Tea Drops while working a full-time job at eBay in Silicon Valley
06:46 – How Sashee knew it was time to quit her job and go all-in on Tea Drops
10:57 – The process of patenting Tea Drops
13:39 – The impact of being tweeted about by Chrissy Teigen
15:58 – Transitioning from bootstrapping to raising funds
18:31 – Maintaining open to feedback while having conviction in what you’re building
22:48 – Raising $3.5 million to date and embarking on a $5 million series A round
24:39 – Receiving support from her family, friends, and mentors
27:18 – Meeting people she would have never expected
28:06 – Following her father’s “Horizon Theory”
30:05 – Expanding beyond tea to incorporate and emphasize self-care
34:59 – Wanting to separate work from her personal life, and investing in other founders
41:20 – What Sashee would be doing if Tea Drops wasn’t a thing
46:24 – Why Sashee moved into a 250-sqft home and got rid of 75% of her belongings
49:47 – Sashee’s view on social media
51:40 – Sashee’s interests outside of work (spending time with family and travelling)
54:04 – How the book “Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer helped Sashee learn to let go
56:12 – The power of celery juice
57:20 – Wanting to make other people feel like they are the priority
58:40 – The influence of Tamil culture on Sashee
01:00:17 – Admiration for Maitreyi Ramakrishnan
01:01:37 – Sashee’s advice to other Tamil creators
01:02:38 – Would You Rather

EP #8: Dr. Ranjith Mahen – Being $190K In Debt To Opening Two Multi-Million Chiropractic Clinics With Just $10K

Dr. Ranjith Mahen is a health educator, chiropractor, and weight loss and clinic coach. He joins Ara to discuss being $190,000 in debt, opening his first practice with $10,000, the importance of mastering your energy, and overcoming self-doubt to pursue what you want.

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Read his feature story on TamilCulture.com – https://tamilculture.com/dr-ranjith-mahens-secret-to-running-two-successful-multimillion-dollar-practices-be-generous-and-give-back

Connect with Dr. Ranjith via Instagram https://www.instagram.com/doctormahen/

Ep8 Timestamps

00:15 – Introducing Dr. Ranjith Mahen

01:36 – Ranjith recalls how he met Ara, contemplating dropping out of school after his mother’s sudden passing

04:13 – What does a chiropractor do and why should someone go to a chiropractor

11:39 – Being $190,000 in debt with student loans

13:13 – Ranjith speaks on how Ara’s dad was a mentor to him and how a solid network helped him start his first practice with $10,000

17:48 – Struggling with self-doubt and overcoming it

19:26 – How to find a balance between work and life, and the importance of getting your energy right

21:30 – Ranjith speaks on the health transformation he underwent during COVID, and how this is the first generation of children who won’t outlive their parents

25:44 – Purchasing his first commercial real estate property for the business, where Ranjith sees himself in the next 3-5 years

28:32 – Books and stories that inspire Ranjith

30:57 – His mom’s passing has inspired him to help others, and recapping an example of how when you give more is given to you

32:54 – Being Tamil a major part of Ranjith’s identity

34:29 – Being inspired by Tony Robbins and A. R. Rahman

36:25 – Putting aside fear to build certainty

38:26 – What Would You Choose

42:35 – The Wrap Up

EP #7: Jananie Baskaran – Raising $60K For Charity Using Photography

Jananie Baskaran is a photographer, artist, and founder of the non-profit organization Palm Roots. She joins Ara to discuss how she raised $60,000 through sponsorships, what it was like being one of the first female photographers in the Tamil community, and how The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari completely shifted her perspective, before Ara runs her through another speed round of Would You Rather.


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Connect with her:

Ep7 Timestamps

00:15 – Introducing Jananie Baskaran

01:47 – How her visit to Jaffna lead to the creation of her non-profit Palm Roots

03:53 – Raising $60,000 and the sponsors that helped make it happen

04:49 – How transparency lead to the evolution of Palm Roots

06:18 – Jananie’s plans for Palm Roots going forward

07:23 – The negative perception of Jaffna (Jananie’s ambition to
display the positive), and the entrepreneurial energy of the Tamil
community

09:19 – Jananie’s writing work, and speaking on the feeling of being a social outcast

16:34 – Being one of first female photographers in the Tamil
community and how the scene has changed since, in addition to how COVID
has affected photographers

19:29 – The importance of art in the world despite the negative perception that surrounds it as a career choice

22:08 – Medical field by day, photography and creative arts by night

23:52 – The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari completely changed Jananie’s perspective

25:52 – How self-reflection has helped Jananie overcome the famous Tamil phrase “what will other people think”

29:20 – Where Jananie sees herself in the next 3-5 years

29:55 – Wanting to be remembered for living life on her own terms and embodying kindness

31:45 – The legacy Ara wants to leave behind

32:32 – Finding identity in being Tamil

35:59 – Jananie’s admiration for Tamil immigrants and Princess Diana

39:29 – Advice Jananie would give to other aspiring Tamil creators

41:33 – Would You Rather

46:40 – Wrap Up

 

EP #6: Vozhi – How A Seattle-Based Real Estate Entrepreneur Vozhi Got To Rap In A Kollywood Film

Vozhi is a Tamil-American Seattle-based entrepreneur, rapper, and community activist. He joins Ara to discuss how he got the opportunity to rap in Kollywood film Vellai Pookal, how Arnold Schwarzenegger inspired him to get into real estate, getting the governor of Washington to officially make March 9th Tamil Heritage Day, and why the victim mentality is counterproductive to you achieving your goals.


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Read the feature interview on TamilCulture.com – https://tamilculture.com/seattle-based-entrepreneur-arivozhi-adiaman-vozhi-uses-real-estate-and-music-to-empower-local-community

Connect with Vozhi


Timestamps

00:15 – Introducing Arivozhi Adiaman aka Vozhi

02:51 – Following the traditional corporate path before having an epiphany

05:10 – Transitioning towards working in real estate, making music, and engaging in community service

08:51 – Why people are fearful of owning real estate, why they shouldn’t be, and how technology is bridging the knowledge gap

14:52 – Where Vozhi’s name came from, and how hip hop has helped him express himself without worrying about insecurities

20:39 – Getting to rap in Kollywood film Vellai Pookal after only six months of putting his work out for public consumption

23:35 – This golden age of the creator era, treating social media as a tool to track progress and connect with your audience

25:41 – The importance of consistency and not getting caught up in the metrics that society sets

33:33 – Taking advantage of every opportunity, how the victim mentality is counterproductive to achieving your goals

36:46 – How Vozhi manages to balance real estate, music, and community activism

39:51 – Resources Vozhi uses to build his knowledge, and how Arnold Schwarzenegger inspired Vozhi to get into real estate

43:59 – How Vozhi wants to be remembered, and what he’s doing to hopefully achieve that

45:16 – Appreciating his parents for immigrating to America without Google Maps and other people he finds inspiration from

48:01 – Talking about the Tamil community

51:01 – Getting approval from the Governor of Washington to officially make March 9th Tamil Heritage Day

51:51 – Advice Vozhi gives to other aspiring Tamil creators, forgetting about other peoples’ opinions

53:46 – Would You Rather

60:24 – The Wrap Up