“Like any good entrepreneur worth her salt, I’ve been a risk taker and a very big one at that. I believe risks pay off, especially when you know what you want. I’m sure I’ve made several errors, but believe that everything happens for a reason and that only serves as an opportunity to improvise,” says Annelise Piers, Licensed Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a first generation entrepreneur.
Annelise and Rahul George co-founded ‘Now! Let’s play’ in 2011. A unique concept of combining theatre and strategically-developed game, the focus through these activities is on team-building and running leadership programmes. They were not satisfied with the results – they wanted to make an even deeper impact on individuals they worked with, so they decided to take their knowledge of Neuro Linguistic Programming to the next level. They have since been licensing in the US, with the co-founder of NLP, Dr Richard Bandler.
Starting Up Now Let’s Play
Several times over a seven-year period, Annelise had heard someone recommend she meet Rahul who was using theatre in corporate interventions. Annelise, would however take his telephone number and lose it till one day her client looking for another actor facilitator for a project she was working on and then a chance telephone call connected the duo.
“We were surprised to see that we have so much in common, especially a passion for creating ‘real change’ through the interventions both of us were running,” says Annelise. Now! lets play has indeed come a long way in four years after starting up. It now specializes in ‘mind coaching corporates and entrepreneurs to stay focused on their goals by changing limiting thoughts and developing resourceful behaviours’.
They have several formats of working, depending on the audience. There is a corporate coaching on a planned annual calendar. Then there are individual clients who coach privately with them for a period of 3-6 months and there are even one or two day workshops, retreats and seminars for mass education.
A firm practitioner in what she teaches by way of playing games, Annelise says she has personally benefitted greatly from the technology she uses, both at the personal and business level.
It is surprising to experience how simple it is to change a situation by just thinking differently,
Walking the talk
Annelise has herself used NLP and natural remedies to stay fit, enjoy food and balance her hormones. She says she herself now stands at a lighter 73 kgs and a 32 inch waist, compared to a 40-inch waist and 94 kgs weight, in 2010.
So, inspired by successes on her personal front, she drives Now! let’s play’s and encourages women to enrol for Employee Awareness Programs (EAPs). She says she is on a mission, to encourage women to take control of their health and has built an online community on Facebook too, for the same.
From inspiring girls to walk to eating and thinking healthier to balance the monthly hormones, Annelise is certainly walking the talk.
Annelise is a soul coach
Annelise and Rahul are the soul coaches at Now! let’s play and though they keep getting the ‘scalability’ question thrown at them, they believe that quality triumphs hands down.
They had initially thought of approaching VC s for funding, but knew deep within that their business model of keeping the numbers down is not something that would attract the VCs enough.
Their idea of scaling up and reaching more people is to license other like-minded, passionate individuals to do what they do in their circle of influence. They therefore are always looking out for ‘risk-hungry’ entrepreneurs to take their work forward.
What exactly is NLP
People still are unable to distinguish NLP from counselling.
The main differentiator is that one doesn’t need to dwell on a trauma or talk about a ‘difficult’ situation over and over again. You’re taught consciously and unconsciously to create a shift in how you think or interpret an event in order to gain perspective and like choices,
Make no mistake, NLP is not a therapy. It’s a means by which one learns to think differently. “It’s not been easy for a few individual clients, considering seeking help has been thought of always as therapy. From their first time they reach out to us to finally signing up for their coaching sessions they tend to go back and forth on whether or not to invest in themselves,” says Annelise. She says she is happy with the fact that the trend is changing and more women are themselves reaching out for help.