From Taboos to Triumphs: My Startup Odyssey

February 28, 2024

From the poop-washing eco bathroom bidet revolution of TUSHY to the OG period-underwear innovation of THINX, and the delicious gluten-free disruption of WILD, each venture into the heart of startup culture has taught me invaluable lessons about entrepreneurship, resilience, and the power of a bold idea.

Lesson 1: Community is Everything (Love, WILD)

WILD is more than a restaurant; it’s a community hub for gluten-free, farm-to-table lovers. The biggest takeaway from building WILD was the power of community. Building a loyal customer base was about more than just serving delicious food; it was about creating an experience and a sense of belonging. Engaging with our community, listening to their feedback, and adapting our offerings accordingly was key to our growth. This experience underscored the importance of connection and community in every business venture.

Lesson 2: Embrace the Uncomfortable (Thanks, THINX!)

Starting THINX in 2011 was about challenging norms and starting conversations on topics considered taboo. The lesson? Embrace discomfort. It’s in those uncomfortable spaces that true innovation and change occur. We pushed boundaries, faced skepticism, and navigated controversies, but staying true to our mission of breaking the menstruation stigma taught me the importance of resilience and vision.

Lesson 3: Sustainability is Not Just a Trend (A Nod to TUSHY)

With TUSHY, we aren’t just selling bidets; we’re promoting a lifestyle shift towards sustainability. The challenge here is changing deeply ingrained habits and perceptions about personal hygiene. The lesson we’ve learned time and again is that sustainability is not just a trend but a responsibility. It requires patience, education, and a lot of humor to shift mindsets, but the impact on our planet is worth every effort. This journey has reaffirmed my belief in building businesses that offer solutions to real-world problems, not just products.

Cross-Cutting Lessons:

Across all these ventures, a few themes consistently emerged:

Innovation Requires Courage: Each of these businesses started with a bold idea that many doubted. It takes courage to stand by your convictions and see them through.

Transparency Builds Trust: Whether it’s discussing menstruation openly or sharing the origins of your ingredients, transparency fosters trust and loyalty among your customers.

Adaptability is Key: The startup world is fast-paced and ever-changing. Being able to pivot and adapt to new information, feedback, and challenges is crucial.

Passion Fuels Persistence: There will be setbacks, failures, and days when everything seems impossible. It’s the passion for your mission that will keep you going through it all.

Navigating the startup culture is like riding the wildest, most exhilarating roller coaster imaginable. It’s not for the faint of heart, but for those daring enough to embark on this journey, the rewards are immeasurable. It’s about creating something from nothing, making a tangible impact, and learning about yourself along the way.

So, to all my fellow entrepreneurs out there: embrace the challenges, learn from every stumble, and never lose sight of why you started. Here’s to the wild ride of startup culture and the lessons we learn along the way.

Xoxo,

Miki


PS. I’m back on the speaking circuit ✨

See my speaking page and topics [click here] 🚀

Contact: hello@mikiagrawal.com for speaking inquiries.

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