BW Women: Marathon At Sprint Speed
A woman entrepreneur has to don multiple hats. But we should not look for reasons to not explore a passion. Don’t just dream...
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Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that, so it goes on flying anyway.’ Just because statistics and numbers prove otherwise, there is no reason to stall your dreams – all for belonging to a certain gender. From very early on, I was taught to compete, participate, and win in anything and everything I put my mind to. When it came to running a business, I did just that. The thought of having to manage multiple roles all at the same time boiled down to just one thing for me - time management.
Being a mother, wife, founder and colleague all into one, might look daunting only if you are counting the commas in this statement!!
Entrepreneurship stems out of an urge to solve an underlying problem. Being a valedictorian and seeing education from up-close, I and my co-founder started Fastudent with a vision to iron out the hassles of accessing education supplies. We intended making students’ buying experience highly personalised and at the same time, present a vertical e-commerce story with a bolder vision – profitable and not just discount oriented. The idea itself had a massive social impact and looked like a giant uphill task and that’s what got me going.
A first time entrepreneur and a mom, turned out to be a blessing! Two- hour sleep days, was the schedule of my infant. It allowed me to accelerate and prioritise my day. I had always been an avid multitasker; this gave me another set of parameters to fit in into the “tiny” 24- hour day. I remember, I shifted to 6 AM- to-12 noon schedules in the early days in this startup, to be on top of the game.
We shouldn’t be worried that we have to fit into the entrepreneurial world. There is absolutely nothing wrong with creating your own style and your own rules. As long as the end result is business growth and we aren’t inconveniencing someone else, it’s fine to do things differently. Think as much out-of-the-box and keep innovating.
Breaking the Stereotypes: Setting up late night meetings or pulling an all nighter are just the beginning of a long list of taboos .Till date, I haven’t been able to get some of my business touch points on a call during odd hours just because it’s a woman calling.
Striking a balance: Managing social responsibilities with a startup is daunting for any entrepreneur, but there are times when the family has to take precedence. The whole idea of following traditions, despite being in a cut-throat business setup was quite revolting to men and women alike. But this shall evolve as more heels enter board rooms. Emotionally Attached: In a startup, one deals with many failures compared to other professions. Women, by nature, tend to take every failure more personally. I see my ability to evaluate scenarios objectively and not emotionally as my hardest learnings from my startup.
Womenpreneurs have been around for ages, only now they show up in boardrooms in bigger numbers. My advice is – don’t just dream, work towards it. We should not look for reasons to NOT explore a passion. The challenges might be different, but they are quantifiable in the same scale for both genders. My mantra? Pack your day with as much as you can– its like a marathon at sprint speed!
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