What Alphabet Media's Tejal Daftary Mehta learnt from running a business & caring for a new born
2017 – a year of personal transformation. Just when I was ready to take calculated risks in business, the stork decided to visit us.
The early months of pregnancy were not easy. But we always found a way to stay positive. Once the baby was born, it was like watching 2 children grow – my daughter and my business. And now 2 years down, both my babies are healthy and doing fine. The human baby is a year old and the company is 4. Yes, the tiny organisation has blossomed with a rock-solid team and a fascinating list of clients.
I want to share with you the lessons that both pregnancy and running a business have taught me. They are both closely related although they seem different. In fact, they are both just two sides of the same coin!
- ‘A goal without a plan is just a wish’ – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
While readying oneself for pregnancy, one goes clean, starts on a nutritious, balanced diet. Although I have personally not done this in entirety, I think it is a great idea. The importance of the early stages of planning can never be under-valued! This helps me, ‘Think ahead, and strategize right.’
2. ‘The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today’ – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Making your baby feel comfortable within the womb is crucial, to ensure easy adaptability when out. This stage, I found very similar to nurturing one’s products at infancy and getting them ready for the market.
3. ‘Quality, not quantity is my measure’ – Douglas Jerrold
During pregnancy, it is not important to ingest a lot of food. The nutritional value of the food being taken is of far greater value. This is when I realised how important it is to also understand what exactly are the client’s needs and advise accordingly, never compromising quality over quantity.
4. “You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation’ – Gordon B. Hinckley
Yes, your baby is listening to you and your surround sounds. Positive affirmations, music for wellness, can go a long way in strengthening the foundation. This is so true of corporate life too. An organisation’s growth is in direct proportion to the strength of its base. Stronger the base, faster the growth.
5. ‘The secret of crisis management is not good v/s bad, it’s preventing the bad from getting worse’ – Andy Gilman
No 2 pregnancies are alike. Personally, I was advised bed rest for a month. And that too, during one of the most awaited family events – my brother’s wedding. I barely managed to attend the marriage ceremony and reception. I was not allowed to exercise until the end of 7 months. And finally, when it was time, I had to go under the scalpel. Yet another valuable learning which I had imbibed at work, and which I was able to apply to this phase too - Be prepared. A crisis seldom forewarns. Prioritize and handle the situation calmly.
6. ‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much ‘- Helen Keller
During pregnancy and early motherhood, my family, colleagues and friends stood by me like rocks. I was never made to feel like I was the only one going through pregnancy. Well, the power of teamwork can never be undermined.
7. ‘Books are a uniquely portable magic’ – Stephen King
I used my time to try and read as much as I could. This I guess stemmed from my reading habits at work. After all, knowledge never goes waste. And research is a vital tool.
8. ‘Plan your work and work your plan’ – Napoleon Hill
Pregnancy gives one ample time to contemplate. Use this time wisely. Begin with planning each day and go on to taking the right steps for a strong future. This kind of time investment will not only ensure a joyful pregnancy but also make it easier when the baby is born. This wonderful habit was something I always employed at work - Outlining a strategy, Mind-mapping and working around timelines.
9. ‘Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but in doing it’ – Greg Anderson
Once the baby is born, you realise that ‘pregnancy’ was only getting you ready for the ‘real work’. Honestly, a job is never over……it’s only a fresh beginning.
10 ‘Plans are nothing. Planning is everything’ – Albert Einstein
My profession requires me to also handle events. The importance of detailing, having back-up plans, multi-tasking are all traits that I applied during pregnancy too. Pregnancy can be like an event, with all the trappings of a mega-occasion. There are pre and post-event moments, more like phases. Remember, a well-planned event usually leaves no room for surprises. In this case, may the only surprise be the gender of your new-born!