Turning 2 in the Lockdown: Survival & Growth as a Startup Founder

Shoes of two People Visible below the text on the floor-PASSION LED US HERE

Here are possibly some of the things that contribute to the above-mixed bag of feelings!

  1. Our journey is the non-linear version of the life of a caterpillar or a Butterfly. We have to often go back to the cocoon for short durations to review, recharge, and emerge as something different. Sometimes, we are slow-moving caterpillars grabbing inputs & learnings while gearing up for the future. Sometimes, we are a Butterfly soaking in the success and achievements [if you have seen us on our landmark event ‘A Day on Ginny’s Planet’, you would know what I mean!].
  2. We are a social enterprise registered as a for-profit entity. Hence, while we focus on a cause, we will survive only if manage to earn good revenue.
  3. We aim to nurture empathy, respect for diversity, and acceptance of disability as a part of human diversity. We do this by simplifying and triggering conversations around these aspects. We have products as well as services. Which sector or category do we fall in? The verdict is yet out on that.
  4. We had a plan to tie up with schools and offer our workshops & products. Lockdown of course derailed that plan.
  5. Distribution channels for an enterprise like ours are online but cannot just be online.
Three hands holding coffee mugs

What brought us this far?

  • Relationships are a resource! Co-professionals, colleagues, friends, fellows, vendors, volunteers, interns, customers, donors, mentors, and ambassadors: Everyone contributes to taking the enterprise ahead! While some will support you because they believe in you, some will support you because they believe in the idea or vision that you started with. Some will see their own growth with you. All relationships will be a resource.
  • You need a team! It is hard to do everything on your own. Yes, we cannot afford so much in the beginning years. But finding a way to ensure that you have a team is very important. Even when we outsource the tasks to an external team [since they are not our employees], they are still a team! The relationship with them is important to maintain and strengthen. Even if the team is of volunteers/interns/part-time employees, always remember to create space for use of their strengths. Ask for their help.
  • Team has to be nurtured: While people will join you or support you because they align with your vision or idea, you still might have to nurture the understanding of nuances. It is not fair to expect people to follow the culture or belief of the organization without first nurturing that culture with the support of the team.
  • Don’t lose sight of the long term while fire fighting: Startups always have so many battles to fight, almost every day. There are so many moments when we have to prioritize either survival or growth. But actually, it isn’t just one priority or the other, As long as everything we do is connected with the overall goal and vision of why we started, growth would happen. And of course, sometimes, we do have to change directions instead of forcing ourselves on a particular path even when the context is changing. Like driving a car, you will have to shift gears & paths when you hit a roadblock.
  • Celebrate & have fun: There is always so much pressure. There is always something pending. But there have to be moments of fun & celebration of milestones! The team needs them. And so do you!
  • Relax. Take a break. But do not stop: Everything we do requires resources, especially money. When something like Covid 19 and lockdown hits us, we have to take a break sometimes. But we do not stop thinking, planning, & preparing for the future. We do not stop. Ginny’s Planet has never stopped operations. We do take breaks. We get into cocoons and then re-emerge as a butterfly. Challenges will never be absent. We will always make some mistakes. But, growth will happen even if we do not see it sometimes.

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Ginny's Planet

Ginny's Planet

We are building a world where being different is OK & nobody feels like an odd-one-out! Join our celebrations as we turn 3 on 28 June 2022!