PIVOTING: From Start-ups to Parenting

Pivot

Pivoting is the new poster word of start-up lexicon. Though it is common sense and has been proven true by many businesses long ago, it has gained currency now.

‘The idea that finally makes a business big is generally not the ‘first look and feel’ of the idea. It is the shade of the original which has been tied and dyed or tweaked to make it more consumer appealing.

Earlier, businesses diversified or ventured into a virgin direction slowly but pivoting is now about pace.

“A start-up is not shotgun. It’s a machine gun. You have to hit multiple times”, says Vipul Mishra, Cofounder, Canvasflip, a start-up that has pivoted six times in a span of one year.

Let us understand the basics of Pivoting

1. Don’t forget the basics – A pivot is a central point on which a mechanism turns or escalates. It could be a person or a thing on which something turns, hinges on depends.

So, pivoting means that we might change our direction of movement, that mode of balancing but the central point remains the same.

In terms of business, the core idea/sector remains the same.

YouTube started in 2005 as a video dating site called Tune in Hook Up and later pivoted to online video sharing. The core space – online videos – remains the same.

In terms of Parenting, it means that the core idea of Parenting – unconditional love, silent observation, patient guidance and constant encouragement will not change in any age.

Also, children remain the pivots of parents’ lives till they are children. For Indian Parents, it is for life.

2. It is a strategic tool – Pivoting is quickly trying different related ideas/techniques if one idea doesn’t give beneficial results. It can go positive as well as negative. It will be positive if fuelled by passion, not by desire to raise or burn money.

Changing tracks without putting enough thought into the new roadmap does not work. Also, the team behind the idea should be committed and have the expertise.

In terms of business, lot of fundraising before pivoting is generally a road to destruction.

In terms of parenting, we need to try different styles of parenting for different phases and temperaments of our children. What worked a decade ago might not work today.

Technology has given birth to new challenges and hence new parenting styles. My book “Don’t Raise Your Children, Raise Yourself (Amazon Bestseller) talks about seven parenting styles while Diana Baumrind discussed three parenting styles in 1975 and it worked in the last century.

3. It accepts failure and motivates to move on – Many promoters and founders get so attached to their business ideas that they don’t readily accept its non viability.

Investors / Mentors can show them the related avenues. Pivoting improves resistance of entrepreneurs and makes them failure friendly. It keeps them nimble and open to accept failures and quickly move to asses other workable options. A passionate and expert team gives the confidence that they will make their teamwork work, whatever it takes. Snapchat succeeded after 24 failed ideas.

Parents should encourage their children to use pivoting in life – for choosing subjects, career options or jobs. Children might not be able to figure out their area of professional interest in one go. Many a times, parents and peers push them towards choices which are trendy and lucrative but might not be appropriate for them.

Parents must accept pivoting by their children and should support them if they wish to fine-tune or alter their choices.

References:

1. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/from-a-potent-weapon-of-business-success-is-pivoting-turning-into-a-face-saving-strategy-for-failing-startups/articleshow/52377890.cms

2. My book “Don’t Raise Your Children, Raise Yourself (Amazon Bestseller)

*****

I am an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Don’t Raise Your Children, Raise Yourself (Amazon Bestseller), Why Women Are What They Are, Come On! Get Set Go

I am running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with me on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read my best articles here!

Advertisements

Menstrual Health Start-ups – Anchoring a social revolution

Menstrual HealthMenstrual Health Startups look at solving much ignored problems that all women face, especially among the rural and socioeconomically backward populace.

During my sessions with startup enthusiasts across the country, I try to inspire them to look for a worthy problem to solve rather than copy a profitable but hackneyed venture.

Problem solving endeavors in spaces of waste management, solar energy, education in rural areas, emergency health services, etc., are breaking new grounds and giving new meaning to social innovation.

Menstrual Health Startups are creating a much needed but ignored innovation space. They are extremely welcomed because:

Only 12% Indian women have access to menstrual products

According to a 2011 survey by A.C. Nielsen, only 12% of women in India use menstrual products. Use of sanitary napkins is unimaginable by a majority of Indian women due to its cost. There are certain startups like Sarala Designs, co-founded by Suhani Mohan which manufacture economically priced sanitary napkins as well as vending machines.

Menstrual man of India, an amazing social innovator, Arunachalam Muruganantham made a sanitary pad machine patented under his name.

He has been using these machines to spread the use of sanitary napkins in the interior most rural areas of poor states in India.

I wonder why no Government initiative or a startup scales it up. Can’t the disruptive work done by likes of Suhani and Muruganantham be quickly scaled up to reach the 88% of Indian women population suffering every month

Poor menstrual hygiene leads to most reproductive diseases

Around 70% of all reproductive diseases in India are caused by poor menstrual hygiene. Awareness about reasons behind menstruation is very low and it is considered a big taboo to talk about it. A long list of cultural don’ts are faced by girls during this period. It not only causes physiological problems but also psychological trauma for girls and women.

They are considered impure and outcastes during these days and the sources to give right information and purposeful awareness are negligible.

Aditi Gupta and her husband Tuhin founded Menstrupedia, a portal with a comic book to cover everything around menstruation. Their path breaking work through menstrupedia.com has helped thousands of girls and women to be aware about this natural process which has nothing to be ashamed about.

Products like sanitary pad incinerator have demand and can go a long way in managing waste properly.

Tracking periods can help in preventing/planning a pregnancy

For better management of time and health, LoveCycles, founded by John Paul, is an easy period tracker which predicts symptoms, moods and can also guide about days most likely to lead to pregnancy. It helps busy women to get reminders about pills or any medication related to the premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Not only this, it allows women to keep a history of each monthly cycle which helps them to gauge any change indicative of any disease.

Such innovations will be landmarks in influencing health of women and giving them a sense of owning their own bodies, its natural processes with confidence and ease.

These are not just innovations but steps towards a social revolution.

RELATED ARTICLES

Girl, Let’s Talk About It! With Sinu Joseph [Video]Give Him A ‘Pad’ma Already! Lessons to Learn from the ‘Menstrual Man’Leading Indian Women Who Are Changing The Face Of India Inc. With Their InvestmentsWhat Are The Sanitary Options You Can Offer Your Daughter About To Reach Puberty?

Image source: rural Indian woman by Shutterstock.

This article was first published by www.womensweb.in on 07th Apri, 2016http://www.womensweb.in/2016/04/menstrual-health-start-ups-social-revolution/

Once an Entrepreneur, Always an Entrepreneur

Logo (2)

Passionate, obstinate, pachyderm, scary risk taker- this is how people knew me twenty years ago.

In an era that loved engineering and medicine as a profession, I chucked the plan to become an engineer after reading ‘The Republic’ by Plato. After securing a gold medal in Philosophy, I enrolled for a MBA program because I wasn’t old enough to appear for Indian Civil Services which was my parents dream for me.

The entrepreneurial bug bit me in the beginning of MBA Program and I took two simultaneous risks against wishes of everyone – marrying the guy I loved and starting a venture.

Both the risks paid off and the civil services dream got sacrificed.

As my academic interests synced well with my entrepreneurial venture, I worked for others as Founding Director of two Management Schools.

Balancing both the careers was exhausting and exhilarating for a few years. Then working for someone else started troubling my entrepreneurial soul and I got completely engrossed into my entrepreneurial shell.

As a woman entrepreneur and a very passionate parent, life threw more challenges when my husband moved to Mumbai. After three years of long distance experiences, I finally moved to this cosmopolitan five years ago. The newness of this city unsettled me for a while and I could not gather courage to start something on my own. I took the safe route and started working for someone else.

I experienced the same emotions again. In the name of a stable career, I executed hilariously foolish whims of the owners, wasted my time in repetitive, meaningless administrative tasks before I decided to wear my entrepreneurial heels again.

I turned a solopreneur this time and I am loving every inch of my new avatar. The passionate, obstinate, scary risk taker is back.

Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur…

****

Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read her best articles here!

Let’s Complicate

Knotted rope

We have proudly created an online world parallel to our previous world to make our lives convenient and hassle free. With every new business striving to make everything available on our doorstep, our lives inside our homes must have become simpler.

We must be having a lot of time that we would have wasted in going out and buying all these electronic goods, books, groceries and gifts. We must be saving a lot of money by using coupon codes, referrals and never-before sales.

We must have become time and money rich, thanks to all apps which have gifted us options unlimited to live life apptually.

Life has become so simple. We can connect with anyone, anytime. We can order anything, anytime.

We don’t need to remember any phone numbers or ways to our favorite destinations.

We are tuned to every sound of our Smartphone, habitually checking our accounts on all important sites.

Our staple routine is to scout for new pictures, to share interesting forwards, to prove to the world that we are living an awesome life.

Do you want to know the recipe of this exclusive life which seems so simple, yet so complicated? (Could you have imagined people valuing selfies more than their lives?)

Here are the tips to attain such a complicated life:

  1. Love Options: When we love options, we feel so blessed to have it all. More becomes less for us causing excess burden on our minds to decide petty stuff.

I have never seen someone better at this than my husband.

If we are making a travel plan, he will suggest two-three destinations. As we talk about one being better than other, he will suggest air travel choices and then book tickets for minimum two airways and to two destinations.

If he is going for a shoot or an event (he is an actor!), he will keep everything extra from shoes to shades in case he changes his mind.

Since he creates innumerable complications in travel and sartorial domain, he always has a one dish meal.

Though explosion of choices help us sometimes to get exactly what we want, most of the time, it overwhelms us so much that it induces stress.

Author of “The Paradox of Choice: Why more is less”, Barry Schwartz says that choice helps to a certain extent but after a point, choice starts to be not only unproductive but also counterproductive – a source of pain, regret, worry about missed opportunities and unrealistic high expectations.

Think for yourself: Less is more or more is less.

  1. Pretend: To keep up the image of an awesome life, we pretend to others as well as to ourselves. To show a high coolness quotient, we create a persona who has best of experiences with celebrities in perfect locations. Being honest and straightforward is derogatory and uncool. Almost all my colleagues and friends tell me to color my hair as they find it so awkward that I have never thought of coloring my grey hair. There is nothing special in it but pretending to look young is a weird norm. Isn’t it beautiful to age gracefully?

Think for yourself: Will you admire a rainbow or apply make up to it?

  1. Try to make everyone happy: For exponential networking and followers building, we can’t afford to say no. It is important for us to be a part of as many events as possible. Over commitment cannot be avoided as one ego bruise can wound you deeply. The more we stretch ourselves to keep everyone happy, the more they expect from us. The more they expect, the more pressurized we feel to perform.

Think for yourself: When you try to keep everyone happy, you certainly end up unhappy.

How about trying to actually simplify our lives by loving openly, communicating clearly, forgiving honestly and living freely?

****

Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook 

Also read her best articles here!

 

A Start up called Marriage

MarriageEveryone is raving about startups as the new poster event to cling to.

We have always been aware about our problems. As we are running out of options, we have to try find smart, new solutions to the weary, nagging old problems.

The new start up Gods are emitting gyan – Be passionate about your idea, give it everything and take risks. If you fail, laugh at yourself and pine for more passion next time.

A start up is defined as an undertaking that has recently begun operation, is working to solve a problem where success is not guaranteed.

A marriage is pretty similar to a start up when two cofounders walk down the aisle or take saath pheras. The cofounders try to find the solution to the oldest problem – how to find love, how to keep falling in love with the same person over and over again, how to stay happy & enriched as scaling up happens with children coming and expectations rising.

The startup called marriage has cofounders who are the main investors and prime customers too. With passion, perseverance and patience, the cofounders can reduce the failure rate of this startup.

This startup is unique as the success rate is highest in the first go. Roughly, 40% of first marriages go kaput in the US, while nearly two third of second marriages and three fourth of third marriages fail. Interestingly, in business start ups, likelihood of a second startup to succeed is more than first and a third start up has more chances to succeed than the second one.

Though it is difficult to get this data in India, it would certainly be a pleasure if the success rate of first startup in marriage remains high. (According to www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-12094360 the divorce rate has doubled in India in last five years)

Borrowed from Business start ups, some mantras for success of this startup called marriage are:

  1. Team First, Ego Last: Both the Co-Founders need to remind themselves that they are a team with collective interest and individual egos need to be cut to right size. Every individual is opinionated and self contained these days. If they are marrying late, the personalities are rigidly chalked out and there is little space for flexibility and adaptability. As they are high on financial independence and low on time and patience, building up team spirit is difficult. Unless a marriage startup decides to work as a team, the failure is round the corner.
  1. Innovation and Vision: Before starting, the Co-Founders or Partners need to ask themselves – what makes them click together? Can they visualize a long term future?

The stereotypical marriage in India with strict role boundaries like a homemaker woman and a breadwinner husband needs an overhaul. Excessive expectations from one partner in a marriage do not work anymore. A serious innovative upbringing is required by parents especially for boys who cannot expect their would –be- wives to look after them as kids. A balanced upbringing is needed where the girls and the boys are taught to shoulder domestic and professional responsibilities equally, where parents of both cofounders are equally respected, where aspirations and ambitions are equally welcomed. A change in the mindset regarding expectations from marriage will be a bigger innovation than an uber or a flipkart.

  1. Conscious Scaling up: Though businesses consider speedy scaling up as a customary sign of growth, we see quick cash burning and a super quick folding of businesses too. It is very important to scale up after putting conscious thought into it.

To scale up a marriage is to have children or start a business together or getting into activities that require complete involvement and investment into each other.

Both the partners should ponder:

  1. Do we want children and are we ready to become parents?
  2. Are we ready to pool in our financial and emotional resources to build something for lifetime?
  3. Are we ready to meet new challenges everyday which might try our patience and mutual trust?
  1. Meet the Mentors: Incubators, accelerators, angel investors, venture capitalists guide the start ups through their immersion programs and investment. They provide significant help in energizing the start up ecosystems.

Similarly, it helps to take guidance from counselors, like minded groups, parents (if their startup was successful) and senior happy family owners. It is always better to prepare for the new roles – of a spouse and eventually, perhaps of a parent. When we prepare for every test, every interview, every start up meet, why not prepare for these roles that we would play for lifetime.

Observe the veterans who have been betting successfully on the marriage pitch for years, talk to happy parents and content grandparents who have invested themselves consistently into their family accounts.

  1. Create a Culture: Culture refers to the ideas, customs and social behavior of a particular person / society / organisation.

Each organisation believes in some fundamental values, core principles and acceptable norms.

Each marriage should gradually build up a cumulative deposit of knowledge, experiences resulting into formation of beliefs, attitudes and values to grow into a family with valuable, dependable, social relationships to bank on.

It will be heartening to see more of these startups succeed.

Startup

References:

  1. http://www.ndtv.com/offbeat/this-startup-bets-up-to-10-000-that-your-marriage-will-end-badly-1256309

****

Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook 

Also read her best articles here!