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)

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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!

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.

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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/

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?

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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!