Ask any female entrepreneur about the journey to her success and they’ll tell you it was a process of learning. They are able to let go of the societal norms and create new ones as they go. Romita Mazumdar was the founder of the proudly Indian beauty brand Foxtale. It was realising how politeness can be misinterpreted as weakness.
“In the world of business, people try to gauge whether they have the upper hand in the conversation,” the venture capitalist-turned-businesswoman explains. It took me six months before I realized that I needed to be more assertive during negotiations. Although it’s not what I am naturally, I had to learn to combat every stereotype.
It’s useful to have someone close behind you in times like these. Mazumdar’s tribe is overwhelmingly female. She is proud to say that Foxtale was built from the backs women, starting with our initial research with 3000 women and ending with the people we’ve hired. “All of the lawyers I work with, my initial investor, and my board members are women,” she says.
Mazumdar is the first one to admit that she was taught analytical skills by her finance background. She explains that it’s more than creating plans and projections. It’s about reading through numbers and connecting the dots. It’s difficult to understand everything about a company. That’s why you can rely on a spreadsheet of numbers to get the whole story.
The Foxtale founder recommends that people with a different background hire someone to create a financial model. It doesn’t matter how much you give, but it does matter to be determined and confident in the results.
Drawing lines around your personal space will help you avoid burnout
“I realized that my mental health is dependent on my emotional well-being. She says that relying on my team and having conversations outside the workplace, even if they are about work, helped her.
Mazumdar is proud of her time management skills. She learned early that she could not do everything by herself. “I only work on one thing at a given time and delegate. The system is efficient because it has a strong support system with great managers.
Convert long-term goals into manageable steps
Mazumdar realized early in her entrepreneurial journey that she needed to change her routine, especially when she was feeling overwhelmed. She explains, “Everyday, you think about your vision, but only you solve for one day.” You will automatically reach the bigger prize if you achieve these small goals.
Although they may have come from very different backgrounds, Baz Luhrmann & Mazumdar share one thing: sunscreen is your best friend. “I didn’t realize the importance of sun protection as a child. You did it when you went to the beach, or at a sporting event.
Her job exposed her to the environmental harm that can be done to our skin by ignoring it.
“If I could give one piece of advice to my younger self, it would be sun protection.”