5 women entrepreneurs on what they would like to tell their younger selves
How often have we wondered whether we could travel back in time to the past, and looked at things differently? Maybe made that life-changing decision or not. What if we had different priorities? What if we have managed our time better?
Let’s not look at the past with regret or in disdain. Some of these questions and ‘what ifs’ may have influenced the people we are today. Maybe it was the never-say-die spirit and the go-getter attitude that had you in good stead over the years.
So, it’s important to revisit the past, and perhaps talk to your younger self to understand who you are in the present.
From top (clockwise): Farah Khan, Lakshmi Menon, Puja Kirpalani, Shivani Kapur and Apurva Purohit.
On the occasion of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we ask a few women entrepreneurs to travel back in time, and write a note to their younger self. Their interesting advice for yesterday is also a precursor of their future.
Minimise your strengths, maximise your weaknesses
My advice to my younger self would be two-fold: build on your strengths and work at minimising weaknesses, and be bold and strong and believe more in herself.
We often forget that we are all a cocktail of strengths and weaknesses, strong and weak points. I would tell my younger self to learn to see both with an unjaundiced eye. There is absolutely no need to catastrophise weaknesses because life is always about the middle ground. What helps in the process is our level of self-awareness, which leads to our confidence, which in turn allows us to embrace opportunities with gusto.
We also suffer from an insidious psychological condition called the ‘Imposter Syndrome’ where we feel our achievements are a matter of luck and serendipity rather than our talent and hard work. Like most other young women, even I have been unsure of myself. Backing my own intelligence and reinforcing my sense of self-worth to myself, I realised over the years, was the key to unlocking the treasure chest of success. And this is where self-talk works like magic and I would tell my younger self to be bold and strong and to believe more in herself.
Apurva Purohit - President of the Jagran Group
You are always taken care of
Thoughts have immense power in attracting your desires into your life, and even just 17 seconds of a good-feeling thought that you consistently focus on can build a powerful momentum. When your thoughts build momentum, you create a new vibrational set point to attract more good-feeling things into your life.
Good-feeling thoughts are that which inspire you to appreciate what is around you. Focus on clarity, freedom, love, gratitude, freedom, abundance, and success, and watch how it magically unfolds into your experiences.
Also, if you are ever in doubt and need to choose between two jobs, always go for the one that gets your juices flowing and inspires you. Your inner being knows exactly what the right decision is for you, so always go with that internal feeling. Also, if someone angers you, see the blessing in that person’s actions and what they are teaching you for your growth. Most importantly, you are always taken care of, whether you know it or not.
Puja Kirplani - Founder and CEO of Inner High Living
Be the architect of your own happiness
I would give not one but two pieces of advice to my younger self -
‘Acknowledge when it is the right time to walk away’ and ‘place your self-respect above all’.
There are umpteen times when one invests too much energy on trivial things. These things may appear incredibly important at that particular point of time, but in the long run, they generally tend to fade away from memory.
Going out of the way to please and appease others thus remaining stuck in sticky situations due to social obligations is the most damaging thing you can do to yourself. I would teach my younger self the ability to detach myself from temporary attachments, accept the transitional nature of life itself, never letting anyone undermine my self-worth, never lose sleep over someone or something, and most definitely be the architect of my own happiness.
Shivani Kapur – Founder of Mirah Belle
Follow your passion
- Observe your surroundings closely and try to bring in solution with the belief that “only you can do that” (mainly to reassure your mind that you don’t wait for anyone else but yourself to bring in the change).
- Follow your passion, in every possible field, irrespective of your academic qualification.
- Try to make friends or interact closely with all sections of the society because every such interaction opens a whole new world of experiences, more than what you would learn from college.
- Read a lot.
- Be adventurous.
- See every problem as opportunity.
- Travel as much a possible.
Lakshmi Menon – Social entrepreneur
Always focus on health
Working as an entrepreneur means constantly balancing your business operations with the rest of your responsibilities. Balancing both is key.
Focussing on your work is important, but don’t be in a rush to grow. Take moments off work and enjoy special moments with your loved ones and friends. Those moments don’t come back, so don’t lose focus on them.
Take risks and fail without shame. It’s easier to experiment at the beginning of your business, so try things you’re unsure of.
Technology can make or break your business, even in something like the ethnic handloom industry. Take the time to learn the best tools of your industry, and it will make your business 10x more efficient/easy.
Always focus on health, it’s more important than business. If you break your back and get super stressed while doing business, it’s simply not sustainable.
Farah Khan – Founder of Kantha by Farah Khan
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)