Women Entrepreneurs: Tejaswini Pisal Interview
1. Tell us about yourself and your venture.
I am Tejaswini Pisal – a business and transformation coach, founder of Zest Transformation and CEO and Founder of TransformHER.
I always dreamt of having my own Company, where I wanted to help individuals make improvement in the areas where they wanted support and guidance, transforming issues that hold them back from achieving their success. This prompted me to take up coaching and training as a business and I started Zest Transformation.
I wanted to keep a balance on the home and work front. Having worked in the corporate environment for more than 15 years, and with a growing role, a lot of time involvement was expected. When you are responsible for a large business unit, it is no longer just a 9 am to 6 pm job.
After the birth of my younger daughter, I decided to quit and go the entrepreneurial way. This gave me flexibility to operate and also look after my kids.
My forte is coaching new entrepreneurs, business owners, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, freelancers and people striving for success. It is a dream come true for me. For the past 5 years I have been building and supporting business owners and entrepreneurs to unleash their true potential and stay motivated. I have been encouraging and inspiring people to excel in all areas of their life. With my skills and ability to understand an organization’s strengths and challenges, I help to chalk out a plan to take it to the next level and help achieve goals and objectives, getting results far beyond what they could have accomplished by themselves. I have successfully coached professionals from diverse sectors. I am on a mission to bring millions of people out of their comfort zones in order to take positive actions to grow their ventures and build a business and life they love.
2. What does it take to be a women entrepreneur?
Women entrepreneurs see the world through a different lens and in turn do things differently. This is reflected in the type of businesses women entrepreneurs have handled successfully. If we integrate the gender dimension, then we are utilizing the entire talent pool and it adds up to achieving more economic growth. You just need to be able to speak up for what you believe in and the solutions you bring to the table. Yes, cultural differences can be frustrating, and as women, we may have been raised to be quiet, but we have to let that go and find our voice. So, all female entrepreneurs just need to embrace this new era.
3. What have been your accomplishments as an entrepreneur?
The journey has been tough but rewarding. I am a Certified Coach from the ICF International Coach Federation. I have also been awarded ‘The Lioness Business Builder 2018’ at the National Conference on Women Leadership for helping Business Owners build and grow their business. I was also featured in ‘Stars of Startup’, an online magazine. I am also a National Leadership Award winner by The Mahila Prashikshan Sansthan for exemplary contribution towards women Empowerment. I have been featured in Sakal Times for ‘Shaping Business Leaders’. I have also been honoured as an Inspirational Speaker, Panelist and Moderator at Business Growth Summit, at the SME Chamber of India, Women Entrepreneurship Development Council etc.
4. What were the challenges when you set out to establish your entrepreneurial venture?
The first few years were tumultuous – coming to terms with a practical loss of identity, going through periods of self-doubt, drawing no salary etc. Each of these experiences made me stronger. I see challenges as teachings that help me move towards success. Being a woman and managing family and business both definitely needs a lot of patience. I personally feel you just need to take the bull by its horns and prove your worth to yourself.
5. Please throw light on the challenges that you faced in your journey.
Being a woman entrepreneur has its own pros and cons. It was my desire to create and build a meaningful business that ignited my passion. But as many of us know, entrepreneurs who paint only the rosy picture are telling you only half the truth. I learned many valuable lessons the hard way, but I was on fire with a strong belief in my vision.
I have had to shift my vision of what success means, to truly reflect my vision of a balanced life, rather than a linear path toward progress and measurable indicators of success. Over the years, I learned to get more detached – being an entrepreneur is one part of my personality and as an individual, I am distinct from the business I have founded. I am sure if we ask entrepreneurs their reason for success, the answer will route out from their deep personal failures and so is true with me.
Now I empower entrepreneurs to create the impact and build a business and life they love. I’m able to reach more people and it only gets bigger from here. Being an entrepreneur needs lots of time and effort, so sometimes it becomes difficult to cope up with one’s personal life. Being a mother with two kids has certainly been a herculean task to juggle the various roles.
6. Is there any hardships or challenges that you feel is more for women entrepreneurs than their counterparts?
Challenges are the same for all kinds of entrepreneurs but I think it is more to do with the limited access to funding. Fortunately, now there are many schemes available for women entrepreneurs so it fosters entrepreneurship amongst women. Some women find it difficult to be taken seriously as compared to the male counterpart.
7. What opportunities does globalised world throw to women entrepreneurs? Are they making use of these opportunities?
As entrepreneurs, we have the opportunity to make a difference in multiple lives – that of our family, our customers, our employees, our partners and to make a social impact. By giving our best in making our business successful, we are directly and indirectly contributing to the economic development of the country as well.
8. Who do you consider as your role model and why?
I have many role models and from each one, I have learned different things. But what’s most important for me is – ‘Looking at each day as a new opportunity to be at my best. This along with my ‘can do’ attitude is what has been driving me all these years. My loved ones – my family have been my heroes who support me and inspire me. They are my inner voice, my inner strength, my inner circle.
9. What according to you is the requisite qualifications to become women entrepreneurs?
The Drive, and the Courage to Stand up for one self and never take ‘NO’ as an answer, is very important. Once a wise man said “When women move forward, the family moves, the village moves, and the nation moves.” This does not require any qualification, but needs the drive and courage to move ahead.
10. How do you strike a balance between home and career?
For me, this is the most important part – striking a balance between home and career. My definition of success is when you can keep your family happy and your work running at a high pace. I have planned my work hours in such a way that it gives me ample time with my family while running a successful business. A free-day in a month is the most important item on my planning calendar.
11. What would you like to say to the budding women entrepreneurs or those who want to become entrepreneurs?
- Never give up on your dreams regardless of where the journey of entrepreneurship takes you. Dreams really do come true when you have the courage to pursue them.
- Always take action and keep moving forward.
- Accelerate your business, find the coach that is right for you and start thriving in all areas of your life.
- Bringing an outstanding business to the masses means getting your ego out of the way. Always think “How can I do it better?”
- Learning From Others – Find inspiration in other people’s stories, learn to make the most of networking and also find mentors that will help you move ahead.