Miki Agrawal wrote the book, Do Cool Sh*t. This is a short transcription of jam-packed advice on starting a business.
Miki has a direct, no nonsense approach. Her stories are powerful and eye-opening. The video is super high-energy and full of quick, actionable advice. Check it out here.
Purpose is your best motivation. If you’re starting a business to make money. It’s not going to work.
If you’re starting a business that has a purpose, you can stand the test of time.
I break it down in 3 sort of steps when I think about starting a business.
The first is what sucks in my world?
When I was traveling to South Africa, I met a young girl on a weekday. I was like you’re 12 years old, it’s a weekday, why aren’t you in school?
And she said it’s my week of shame. She proceeded to tell me when she has her period she uses old dirty rags and leaves or whatever she can find, it doesn’t work, she ran home from school crying and eventually she stopped going.
I then came home to find over 100 million girls are missing from school when they have their period. What sucked in my world is I knew a girl wasn’t going to school or missing school because of her period.
The second question is does it suck for more than just me. It sucks for more than 2 billion girls right now because that’s the number of women on the planet.
That means there is a business there. Can we take what we know, a pair of underwear, and put special technology in it?
And for every pair of underwear sold, we fund 7 reusable cloth pads that goes to a girl in a developing world, so she can go back to school.
And third, can I be passionate about this for a really, really long time?
So truly think about it. Can I give up everything in business for this?
If the answer is no, then keep looking.
If the answer is yes, then go for it.
I think the first thing you do is you eliminate negative relationships in your life.
People who are the naysayers. The family members that say stay at your safe job. I call that depleters.
Even if they want the best for you, it’s depleting.
If you’re not surrounding yourself with the most inspiring and supportive people, then you’re going to be chipping away and second guessing yourself.
The best advice I ever received is iteration is profession.
Put something out in the world that’s not absolutely perfect, but you’ll still be able to get feedback and iterate and improve and adjust.
Create something quickly. Create a minimum viable product, MVP, and just put it out in the world.
And then just see the response, and keep adjusting and keep iterating.
When you’re first starting out something, when you’re first launching an idea, wanting to grow a business, and you need seek advice from people - oh, I want to pick your brain, I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten that - that’s just not going to a work.
They’re going to be like, ugh, another person wants to pick my brain.
If you starting by leading with how can I help you versus how can you help me, watch how doors will open.
When I came out of college, I had so much student loan debt. So financial freedom was my goal.
Once I became financially free, my definition of success changed to freedom of time. To be able to do what I want to do when I want to do it.
That’s super important. The freedom of time.
And now that I have freedom of time, my definition of success changed to living to my full potential, which means I can impact as many people as I can.