Five secrets from women entrepreneurs managing multiple businesses

Most of us struggle to maintain a work-life balance in our lives. Managing one fledgling business along with a family is so tough for many of us. So what would you say about women who not only manage to kick start one business but go on to begin another and then another, successfully. Should we call them super-entrepreneurs? And then to be able to manage home and family too, along with these multiple businesses! We, at WEBO Power, think there are a lot of lessons just waiting to be learned, right here. So here they are – Five compelling secret mantras for success from some of the most successful women we know!

1. Know Thyself

Know what you love doing and are passionate about. This will make all the difference. Who knew a shy and an introvert girl from the rural areas of Haryana would one day successfully run three businesses with international clientele in the metro city of Delhi. This is the story of Sunita Biddu who completed her Bachelors in Genetics and Masters in Biotechnology from Karnal, Haryana and moved to Delhi to prepare for her IAS examinations. The two years in Delhi worked as a life changer for Sunita, who came face to face with her calling in life – writing. Dropping the idea of being an IAS officer, Sunita moved to Gurgaon to prove herself and started her first company, Content Axis – a web content writing firm. It was in the first three months that not only did she break even, but also made monthly revenues of USD15,000 which at that time were enough to prove to herself and her family of what she was capable of. Now her second company, SEO-Peace that provides SEO services to small and medium companies ranks eighth in the list of top SEO companies in India.

Sunita shares, “It was not in my wildest dreams that I would create a company in a metro city, with absolutely no support, no prior experience, no team, no place, but I just thought I have to do it. You just need to analyze yourself and identify what you are best at and it will definitely give you unexpected results.”

2. Set out clear goals that are measurable and track performance

Be mindful of where you want to see yourself in the years to come and set clear achievable goals to reach there. Lipika Sud, a veteran in the Indian interior design industry, began her journey in 1989 when she started her first company, Lipika Sud Interiors Pvt. Ltd., in the garage of her house with rented furniture and savings of INR 25,000. In the twenty-five years that have followed, there has been no looking back for Lipika who also set up two more companies – Dimension Designers Pvt. Ltd. and Art n Aura. Apart from running her various businesses, Ms. Sud serves as the President of Guild of Designers and Architects, and is also a governing member of FICCI Ladies Organisation.

Lipika explains her success mantra, “I am a dreamer and I believe in setting goals. To be able to succeed, I felt the only way was to have clear goals, which are achievable and measurable to begin with. More like what do I want to do and where I want to be one year from now, five years from now and ten years from now. Once I was sure about which way I am heading to, then the whole idea was to literally put it down using a pen and a paper as to how to achieve it. This exercise allows me to measure whether I am on the right track or not and whether I am able to do what I think I am doing. Also, are there any hindrances and how do I need to overcome them, or have I been over ambitious and therefore, I need to rework on my whole structure of goal setting.” In short, plan, plan and plan! Then track the distance travelled.

3. Follow your path, not the approach taken by everyone else

Be clear in your mind about ‘your vision’ and how you want your business to be, persevere and stay focused without getting caught up in short term lucrative benefits of doing things otherwise. In January 2010, Shilpa Sharma ended her ten year career with Fab India, during which time she was responsible for opening 88 stores across the country. With her experience and learnings in the retail sector and her love for travel, Shilpa started three companies – Retail consulting, Breakaway and Jaypore, within the next three years in three distinct domains.

Shilpa started her entrepreneurial journey as a Retail Business Consultant. With her love for travel, Shilpa had always wanted to focus on cross cultural interactions. Soon after her retail practice, she started her second venture – Breakaway, which is an experiential travel company with two other cofounders who exited the company in less than a year. Shilpa shares, “There was a complete mismatch between their expectations of the business and what I had wanted to do. The vision was mine and I found myself investing a lot of time in explaining why I did not want to do things a certain way, why I did not want to go the standard travel agency route even if there was money to be made. I wanted to focus on experiential and interaction driven travel than doing main stream tourism. I was very clear about what I wanted to be and what I wanted Breakaway to offer.” Shilpa took complete charge of the company after her partners left and hired people to work in the direction she wanted her company to progress. It’s your dream and your course to chart!

4. Be more organized and don’t get stressed with situations

Lipika Sud says, “It is not very easy to keep all going at the same time – there are issues at office, people who do not deliver, pending payments that get stuck, challenges with domestic help, etc. but what matters if how you look at these situations. It is about training your own self and not getting stressed. If you are a little organized, things will fall beautifully into place.” Stress is always going to be there. What matters is how you react to it!

5. Stay healthy and live life to the fullest

The more you want to achieve, the more energetic you need to be, and that comes with keeping good health. All the women we spoke to were clear about the benefits of looking after their health. What unites these women is their self-discipline and commitment towards their health, other than the fact that they work for anywhere between 14 – 16 hours a day. Shilpa Sharma follows her regime of daily morning jogs and thrice a week swimming. Lipika Sud does not miss her daily yoga sessions even if she is travelling. As a wit once said, “If you don’t have the energy to be individualistic, you’d better start toeing other people’s line!”

Let us know your thoughts and any secret success mantras you may want to share in the comments below.

Posted By: Sakshi Aggarwal, Team WEBO Power
Illustration By: Shally Tayal, Team WEBO Power
Posted On: July 02, 2013

2 Comments on “Five secrets from women entrepreneurs managing multiple businesses”

  1. Fatema Jaliwala #

    Really inspiring!

    July 2, 2013 at 10:24 am Reply
    • WEBO Team #

      Thanks Fatema!

      July 3, 2013 at 5:39 am Reply

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