It was a pleasure to have Miki Agrawal, best-selling author and serial social entrepreneur, join the Underfashion Club to share her experience with turning passion into a career. We met on August 19th, 2015 at Space530 in Manhattan to hear her speak. Miki Agrawal is the co-founder and CEO of Thinx, which patents no leak and stain resistant, antimicrobial, moisture wicking, absorbent underwear. To Miki, leading a purposeful career is playing your part to solve problems in the world that you are passionate about!
If you have many ideas but are unsure of where to begin or what to create, Miki suggests asking yourself 3 questions in order to crystallize what you’re doing:
- What sucks in my world?
- Does it suck for a lot of people?
- Can I be passionate about this issue, cause, or community for a really long time?
For Miki, having to throw away good underwear because of period stains sucked. When touring in Johannesburg, South Africa, she met a 12 year old girl on the street and asked why she wasn’t in school, to which she replied, “It’s my week of shame. I stay home when I’m on my period.”
The “girl effect” shows that, given 100 dollars, a woman will reinvest 90 into the community and her family while a man will reinvest 20-45. Given the girl effect and the lack of access to hygiene products for millions of school girls, communities suffer billions of dollars in lost income potential but nobody talks about it because it’s taboo.
This inspired Miki to develop absorbent underwear to support women at home while funding reusable pads for school-age girls in Rwanda, Nepal, India and elsewhere, which has enabled 30,000+ students to return to school to date.
What should you know before starting a new business? First, take a good look at who the most influential people are in your life because “You are as good as the average of the 5 closest friends you keep.” Your friends should inspire and support you, not just dote on you! When you need support, lead with, “How can I help you?” rather than “How can you help me?” to build strong mutually beneficial relationships.
An important concept for entrepreneurship is “Purpose builds motivation.” Consumers feel more motivated to support brands with a mission to give back, and thus it is important for businesses to think about business through a social lens.
When running digital businesses, own your entire margin, control your own story, and leverage social media and search engine optimization to increase brand awareness. It’s now easier than ever to locate and communicate with your target audience through the use of digital tools.
See Miki Agrawal’s interview with the Underfashion Club on YouTube!
See who was there with our photo album on Facebook! http://on.fb.me/1EZks6q
Congratulations to George Cherundolo for winning the raffle for the hour with Miki!
If you attended, we hope you were inspired. We’re looking forward to seeing many of you again for the club’s next event. Until then!