• Shamila Gopalan

Video Series: What I Did For My Business to Survive COVID-19 (Part 1)



Transcript:


Am putting together a series of videos that will come out every week for the next few weeks through my blog on the lessons I learnt to overcome and adapt myself and my business to maintain and scale during this global pandemic.

I’ll get right into it – I am a start-up business. I launched HerWit officially in July 2019, worked my ass off to build the business brand and my personal brand, by the end of Feb and early March 2020, I had built HerWit and myself into a pretty recognizable brand at least in Melbourne. How did I gauge this, I was getting at least 3 to 4 clients a week with projects ranging from one month to six months and more per client. I was also invited to be on panels, events, judge some of the biggest conferences in Australia (StartUp Grind to Pause FEST), be interviewed on a variety of podcasts, invited to be a board member and a mentor for some of the largest women entrepreneurial and corporate-focused organisations in Australia and more. I am not saying this to tweet my horn, please do not think that.


Let me give you some context, I moved to Australia only two and a half years ago at the age of 42 with zero social and professional networks; just like many professional migrants and decided to launch a business. Even though this is my third venture, it’s the hardest one I have had to do. When you are starting from a minus ten position, and having to build your way through a new country, a new culture, a new life, a new networks – it is so much more challenging. For all you migrants out there, you know what am talking about.


And along the way, there have been people who have tried to drag me down (yea even with the small handful of people I knew!) but on the flip side, there have been some amazing people especially women who have stepped up and helped me through it and continue to do so till today. Having built HerWit up within a period of less than a year under those circumstances – seem pretty damn good to me! And if anyone of you out there has done the same – you should give yourself a big freaking hand of applause!

So when Covid 19 hit, I went into panic mode because all those months of hard work are gonna be wiped out! 70% of my revenue came from individual workshops, face to face mentoring, corporate workshops, and even some speaking gigs. When we went into lockdown and all my contracts got cancelled and postponed, I felt like screaming. I was devasted and actually felt depressed for at least a week and more. Am not sharing this for you to feel sorry for me, am sharing this because there were lessons that I learnt from this whole one time in a hundred-year episode - and I wanted to share that today.


I am starting a series of videos that goes through each point. Today is the first and to me, I would say the most important.

Re-examine Your WHY

During this downturn, it allowed me to take the time to really look at my business, but most of all at me and why I was doing what am doing.


We all get entrenched into the daily grind of things and get lost in the “doing” and forget that we need to also be "observing" and “thinking” – not just about our business but about ourselves, our actions, our purpose of why we do what we do – our WHY!

I bang on about this whenever I can, not because it’s the thing to say or because Simon Sinek preaches it but because I truly believe that is ultimately what drives anyone. It is not just for entrepreneurs, this is relevant to people in jobs, people who sit on boards, carers, mothers, volunteers whatever it is we do.


What is My Why? It is I do not want any women or girl to be left behind!


If my mother had role models in her life, even just one that she could have looked up, she would be alive today. If I had role models, I would have learnt how to love and respect my younger self more and would have made some very different decisions. Role models give people hope, guidance and inspiration to believe that they can reach their dreams, that they don’t have to be where they are just because they are limited by their circumstances. That they can SOAR! My WHY is that all women should become role models, not just the small handful of famous women that get recycled in the news, across the media over and over again.


I reminded myself of this and realized the consequences if I do not do what I do, girls and women around the world will continue to NOT know the stories, the experiences, of women who have come before them, regular everyday women – who look like them, have gone through the same challenges, the cultural, social, political and economic barriers they are experiencing, wanting to do the things they want to do, fulfilling their dreams!

I snapped out of that depressive state, pretty quickly let me tell you. Cause I was that girl once, I know how that feels, what impact that has had and have seen it over and over again in my family, community and society.

So I reminded myself of my purpose, my service to humanity and the consequences it would have if I did not fulfil that purpose - help women entrepreneurs, and professional women to soar in their business and careers and create the lives that they want to be happy and fulfilled.

For all of you out there whether you are an entrepreneur, professional career women, stay home mum, volunteer, not for profit – it doesn’t matter, take some time to be with yourself, examine why you do what you do and if you are not doing what you do, then start thinking about that is and start working towards fulfilling it.


Do remember as well that this is a journey and a process, some of us might know it from the start and for some of us, it takes a bit of time to get there. Do not judge yourself – we all have our journeys but you have to take responsibility for your life and start doing the work in order to realize your purpose.

If you want to chat and bang out some thoughts or ideas – click the link below and book a time and I would love to help you find your Why!

See you next week.

We are committed to helping our #womenpreneurs, #femalefounders, #sidehustlers and more during these unprecedented times. I am offering pro bono work for my consulting services to female founders, from sole-traders to start-ups to small businesses, service-based consultants and coaches. As well as professional multicultural or migrant career women going through these difficult and stressful times in 2 main areas: ✅20 STEPS TO A BETTER LINKEDIN PROFILE Click here to schedule a 20 min chat - https://calendly.com/shamila-gopalan/20-steps-linkedin?month=2020-04 ✅BUSINESS & SALES STRATEGIES TO START, MAINTAIN OR SCALE YOUR SMALL BUSINESS - I help businesses think "out-of-box" and discover their pitfalls, turn them into opportunities in the strategy, branding, content, marketing and sales space to help you start, maintain and scale your business. Click here to schedule a 20 min chat - https://calendly.com/shamila-gopalan/pro-bono-consulting Who are we? HerWit, translated to "Here's What I Think", a profit-for-purpose female-focused business and leadership consulting and mentoring firm. 

We strive to serve firstly, womenpreneurs to start, maintain and scale their businesses through brand building, personal branding, thought leadership and sales strategies.  If you’re a woman entrepreneur, service-based consultant or coach on a mission to make an impact, stand out from the crowd, and build a business you love, then let’s make that happen for you. Secondly, we serve female professionals from a multicultural and migrant background looking to scale their careers by positioning them are subject matter experts.



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696 Bourke Street | Melbourne, Australia 3000 | info@herwit.com.au | Tel: +614-2154-5023 | 

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