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Did You Leave A Pink Cookie For Me?

While I respect the ideology of some people who believe as to why keep one day to celebrate women’s day when we need to acknowledge their efforts every day, I personally like March 8th. To me, it stands to be the day that not only reflects on how far women have come around and rejoice at their success, but also how far we have to go. It’s like celebrating an anniversary where couples take the time to spend time with each other to spark memories of the happy times they shared while also conversing about what their dreams for the future are.

Back in my childhood, I recall playing this game ‘Breaking Chain’. It followed a plain funda – the den first chases one person and after she catches her they both together start running behind the third girl and in this manner form a chain. The game continues till the last person is caught or till the chain doesn’t break. The game while being a lot of fun and thoroughly having us scream at our friends and laugh our lungs out simultaneously also taught me how important it was to ensure that we all were in sync and had a common next target. This way we each didn’t run in opposite directions and always kept guard lest the link got broken. Finally, all of us made merry in the end.

A couple of days back, when I read Nina Shaw’s quote, “If you are a woman who wants to be empowered, then empower other women”, I thought why not celebrate this year’s Women’s Day building that chain, the chain of women entrepreneurs who stand together, guide, help and support one another. And, that’s how #PinkCookiesChain was ideated, to make it a collection of wise sayings from the rodinhoodnis who have been there and done that in their respective start up roles.

         Image Source: smileycookie.com

Irrespective of the juncture you are in, in your entrepreneurial journey, you sure have learnt a lesson. Well, since none of us get it right in the beginning and entrepreneurship doesn’t come with a precision manual, we work our heads and break our hearts trying to make sense of the complicated jigsaw puzzle. Nonetheless with our tough, stubborn spirits we sure don’t want to give up. We get ecstatic about pushing ourselves and moving ahead to make our marks. We find delight in falling down, getting hurt and getting back up again. And this whole process leaves us with some precious learning.

So, if there was a ‘lessons throwback’ what is that one thing you would have wanted to tell your less experienced startup self? Share that one wisdom cookie for your kinda fellas in the comments below and tag your sistren to continue the chain. This by no means is like those bucket challenges but has been started with a thought that believes in Inspire and Stay Inspired.

To all those from Mars, tag your friends, mentors, partners or any other woman you know who has navigated the turbulent waters of owning and running her own business.

And to all those from Venus, thanks for the cookie! Spread the word with joy 🙂

You sure can tag more than one person.. in fact it makes me super happy :)))))) ... more tags, more lessons!

Feel free to make this as viral as you would want it to go 🙂

@SunainaShenoy

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Updated 10th March 

Having got an amazing response and some impressive takeaways, here’s a sneak peak into the comments section that you definitely mustn’t miss. Each one is a gem! If you don’t believe, read it to be convinced.

@Asha Chaudhry – “BEING SUPERWOMAN IS A MYTH…. so don’t fool yourself that you are capable of being one!” 

“DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR HEALTH. You are more precious than your startup!”

@Lakshmi Ananthamurthy – “What matters the most is the attitude of an entrepreneur – ability to bend when the wind blows and realise if you don’t, you will break.”

@Tanul Mishra – “Don’t let unpleasant surprises get to you. Laugh it off and move on to doing more important things.”

@Anamika Joshi – “Make yourself competent enough and believe me, it will make things happen at a better pace!”

@Saraswathi Pulluru – “Trust is costly, don’t give it away for free. Let people earn it by keeping their word.”

@Kinnari Thacker Dave – “Gender bias needs to get out of our minds first”

@Shilpi Choudhury – “It is not how many new clients/customers you can acquire but more importantly how many you can keep.”

@Soumya Jain – “Keep updating yourself, keep ‘contemporarising’ yourself.”

@Khushali Gandhi – “Let’s celebrate the smaller things….since they always matter the most”

@Kaanchan Bugga – “Don’t overpromise. Be real.”

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29 Comments

  1. hey sunaina, 

    this is such a neat topic you’ve chosen!

    so my “lesson throwback” i’d share with myself would be:

    BEING SUPERWOMAN IS A MYTH…. so don’t fool yourself that you are capable of being one!

    you are only a mere human with two hands and so many hours in a day. you have many many responsibilities as a homemaker, mother, wife, entrepreneur & co-founder. don’t forget you are the glue that keeps everything (and everyone) together! your first passion may be your startup; but don’t give ALL of your waking hours to it and don’t try to do EVERYTHING ALL BY YOURSELF! you will not only burn out, but you will have a family who craves for your time and attention. and you will feel forever guilty 🙁

    my other lesson is part b of “being superwoman” – DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR HEALTH. take care of yourself – you are more precious than your startup! ‘coz if you’re not feeling & functioning 100% nothing else will. take an hour out every single day to exercise or just walk and breathe. anything that keeps you sane apart from work…

    will share and tag tanul right now!

  2. Hi Sunaina, I loved your post! I am sort of in that bucket that thinks that ‘days’ were started by Archies and other card companies to increase sales for a day :-). Having said that, I don’t think there is anything wrong in celebrating the beauty of a specific specie and focussing a day in the year on them!! 

    I run a website called SiyaWoman.com – where we are creating a platform for the opinions and thoughts of discerning women. After being in traditional areas like Forensics and Sustainability in Supply Chain in MNCs, I chose to start this company which is a lot of fun and very satisfying.  One thing I learnt very well is that as a startup, however certain you are right at the beginning of what you are doing, you have to be very very flexible and change your business strategy to be a response to the market. In that effort, you may find that the people who you started off with are not the right ones or don’t have the right skill set. But what matters the most is the attitude of an entrepreneur – ability to bend when the wind blows and realise if you don’t, you will break. That doesn’t mean bend over backwards – but what it means is to be able to adjust to what the market demands.

    Some women who will definitely be able to speak volumes on this are women I admire for their tenacity – Arpita Ganesh of http://www.Buttercups.in and Sarita Mishra of http://www.GreenCosmos.in..

    (ps..the cookies look really yumm!!!)

  3. The one thing that we could have better prepared for was to be “underestimated” by people- potential investors, advisors and even people we know, because we are women. We could have been better prepared to expect questions such as “Is it a hobby business?”. ” Are you planning to have kids”, “What is your long term commitment to business”.

    Now having said that that, while it did surprise us, it didn’t leave us bitter or biased. Just gave us that extra push to do better. So don’t let it get to you. Laugh it off and move on to doing more important things.

  4. Such a wonderful thing to start Sunaina!

    Though I believe that there is nothing you can know or tell yourself beforehand than waiting to learn it at the right time, still I would have loved to tell myself that:

    There is literally nothing which you should not consider as your cup of tea, specially perceiving your ‘woman’ status. So next time you effortlessly skip doing stuff in your own startup which you think is better off with some ‘male’ counterpart, just rethink and try to take things in your hand. Make yourself competent enough and believe me, it will make things happen at a better pace!

    Would love to tag @Tanya Rao from Zepo to share her learning! 

  5. Hey Sunaina –  Awesome topic to discuss:)

    Asha – thank you for tagging me on Facebook.  The question Sunaina has asked is a tough one – for not one, I would have to re-do what I’ve done earlier!! But, two things specifically stand out.

    Trust is costly, don’t give it away for free. Let people earn it by keeping their word.If they don’t – just quit them immediately. The longer you take to sort things out, the uglier they end.

     If things are not on paper – they are NOT there. You might be the one honoring verbal commitments, but the world doesn’t live on your ideals.

    Happy Women’s Day and let’s keep rocking.

  6. saras – LOVE YOUR LESSON!!! 

    i know the context so i can appreciate it better. but i can really really relate to it so well 🙂

    keep rocking saras. really miss your posts on trh!! 

    happy women’s day 🙂

  7. Mam, thank you :)))  I will surprise you with a post some time in March 🙂

  8. don’t compare yourself to men nor women, treat everyone as individuals. the gender bias needs to get out of our minds first. & networking will take you that extra mile

    http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/women-in-technology

  9. Interesting thread ! And Happy Women’s Day to all 🙂

    I run a creative agency called Lemonade in Summer which is 1+ now. One of my important learning is …it is not how many new clients/customers you can acquire but more importantly how many you can keep. If your clients are happy, they will come back and they will refer you for sure 🙂

    It has worked for us till now.

  10. Beautiful post Sunaina! It is indeed a good day to celebrate one another! 🙂

    I don’t really think I have learned everything yet, but my one top lesson would be to keep updating yourself, keep ‘contemporarising’ yourself. The world is going forward so fast, that it is a breathless task to keep catching up. But a very important one… whether it is in terms of learning new technologies or honing your negotiation skills. Be aware. Be abreast. 🙂

    Love to all the wonderful women out there! 😀

  11. i love “contemporarising” yourself!! brilliant point soumya!!

  12. Thank you Asha!!! 😀

  13. Brilliant idea to get so many lessons in one place 🙂 And Sunaina, you are one person who brings out something to learn from the most trivial looking things. Cheers to your keen observations!

    One important lesson I think I am learning is to stay put at the worst of times and try harder, and then knowing the difference between trying hard and just holding on.

    Let’s celebrate the smaller things….since they always matter the most 🙂

  14. THANKS for the brilliant start asha “BEING SUPERWOMAN IS A MYTH”.. we all need this constant reminder

    And good health as you mentioned is a very important aspect, coz when she is out there to take on the world, she usually forgets everything else…   

  15. Glad you liked the post and a big thanks for sharing your thoughts … your transit from forensics & supply chain to creating a women centric platform sounds quite interesting.. “if you don’t bend you’ll break” kinda hurts but i agree with you completely on that.. best wishes :))

    (ps… the cookies represent smiling women and that sure is the most beautiful thing)

  16. Sunaina, lovely idea. Went through the comments and found some inspiration, neatly bundled under one post which sure beats the hell out of having to look at many posts! 🙂 Will be bookmarking this just for the comments! 

    I’d say listening to your clients, customers… that’s really important. Everything to one side and understanding what your clients really need. And don’t overpromise. Be real. Also the ability to prioritise. That ‘ONE THING’ that needs to be done before all else… 🙂  

  17. i liked how you mentioned the problem and the solution..

    thanks for this one tanul 🙂

    for those of them just starting out, will sure be grateful to you for this piece.

  18. that’s such an interesting note anamikatrue, self directed learning is such an important tool for us to keep growing.

    Thanks for the cookie and for the tag 🙂

  19. i can’t thank you enough saraswathi for these two kickass mentions.

    it’s sheer wisdom and experience talking! Awesome!

    yes, let’s keep rocking 🙂

  20. ” MOVING AHEAD – It is important to keep taking little steps all the time & MOVE ON – critical to ‘move on’ from things and ideas that we think are superb but customers don’t!

  21. those are some brilliant points in your post kinnari… thanks so much for that.

    while all of them stood out for me i liked ‘stand your ground’ the most 🙂

  22. true that shilpi! in a way it’s allowing your work to talk for itself… satisfied customers when leveraged well sure help make great connections. thank you 🙂

  23. ‘contemporarising yourself’ is indeed an amazing lesson to go back with and keep as a reminder.. thanks for introducing this, Soumya 🙂

  24. thanks a ton, khushali for the lovely words and the lovely lessons!

    we think alike on ‘let’s celebrate the smaller things’.. life seems so much nicer that way… well, no one said it’s easy to practice but isn’t it worth it always :)))))

  25. Thanks kaanchan.. agreed, this is becoming a bookmark material with everyone sharing a piece of their mind.

    ‘Don’t overpromise. Be real’ my takeaway and absolutely agree with you on this 🙂 

    well as for that ‘ONE THING’ that’s a tough nut 😀

  26. you have raised a brilliant point trupti.

    i associate the second line with passion trap where entrepreneurs get so emotionally attached to the idea and refuse to see the solution in a different light.

    thanks a lot 🙂

  27. Sunaina, loved your post, its inspiring and motivating! 

    One thing I”d have told to my less-experienced self is “Be confident of yourself. You are no less than anyone.”  (I’ve felt that myself and read that when it comes to confidence, women are under-confident than the male counterparts).

    We are the best, our urge to learn new things and excel in life is invincible. 

  28. Hey Sunaina,

    Loved the idea & its great to read so many learning experiences!

    My greatest lesson has been, Always Be on Top of every thing in your business!

    Moment you let it go, it just falls apart. By this I don’t mean that you have to do every work…I simply mean that you should need to know each & every aspect of the business. Never shy away from learning required skills. 

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