Building a Business in the Pandemic.

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

Six months ago, we officially launched BecauseYOU, an aspirational mental health community. Our purpose is to be a community that holds a higher vision for each person, even when they are struggling. We each go on a journey of self-discovery (healing, understanding and unleashing true potential) at a healthy, gentle pace. We've also secured a one-year engagement with a global non-profit to create a culture of care.


The big questions I'm asking myself and my team today are,'How can BecauseYOU be at the leading edge of placing mental healthcare at the core of our lives? For individuals, communities and organisations. What is the ripple effect it will have in society?'

Wholeness

I write this blog as an entrepreneur, learner, leader, dad, colleague and change-maker. Each of these identities is important to me, and allows me to access multiple inner resources. This concept of wholeness is core to our philosophy at BecauseYOU. This is not JUST about mental health. It's about life.


Five Lessons form my journey.


Balancing self-care and taking risks.

As someone with a severe mental health illness, I need to take care of myself as I hear intense, personal experiences almost daily, from across the country (and world). I have taken on a huge challenge and this will only work (until there are others to hold the vision), if I am stable and thriving. However to build a truly innovative business, I also need to access and implement some of the million ideas I have, without losing touch with reality. I've been able to figure out a process (over many years!), to have the ideas, but balance my energy by taking care of myself. My mindfulness practice, exercise, time with my daughter, digital detox, healthy eating and creating meaningful relationships, are are a few ways I take care of my wellbeing.


Asking tough questions

Why am I really doing this, is it my ego or do I really care about this? What's the high bar for internal culture that we want at BecauseYOU and how do we hold ourselves accountable? Do you want to have a deep impact on your organization or a surface level one? Is what we are doing truly having impact? Do we want external investors at all, what are other ways to do this that are true to our ethos of community? How do we balance scale vs depth?


These are some questions I've asked myself, my team and clients over the last 6 months. I still don't know the answer to many, and being ok with the discomfort of the messiness is also a growth opportunity.


Leading with vulnerability

We've been able to have deep impact because we are not afraid of being vulnerable in our groups or when speaking to our clients. Even writing this blog is scary. Putting out an ambitious vision shores up expectations. It's not easy when I'm opening up about what I go through as the leader of a young start-up (especially with my team, customers and clients reading this). Howevee, the pandemic has taught us more than anything, that we need human connection. Vulnerability is that bridge and I intend to walk on it everyday.


Mentors and external expertise.

I've been privileged to have the support of amazing mentors and peers from my vast network from Leaders' Quest and Teach for India.


I recognise that I cannot do this alone so I constantly ask for help and support. Having a close set of mentors who support me on my internal and external journey, has been transformational to BecauseYOU.


I've made it a practice to speak to at least 8-10 people every month who are not in my sector to learn from their journeys, and I've absorbed a lifetime's worth of wisdom.


Experiment, iterate, experiment.

From day 1, this was deeply embedded into our culture. We launched our first batch within a month, learnt from the feedback, iterated and tried again. We applied this to everything from website content and data analytics, to marketing and social media posts to partnerships and products. We have pushed stuff out fast (keeping our duty of care at the centre), learnt from feedback and iterated to the next version. This by itself is the most creative expression of my value to the world and it's liberating to have the deep belief that we will get there, if we stay the course and true to our values.


It's been an exhilarating, joyous, sometimes overwhelming journey and I'm thankful for the amazing tribe that has been attracted to BecauseYOU. Our team is diverse, philosophically aligned, hold the mirror for each other and have now become good friends. What a privilege!

Book a call with me if you'd like to join the community. Reach out to us at info@becauseyou.in to offer your expertise and/or networks, for collaboration opportunities or even if you're interested in investing in us in the future.

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