mompreneur

044: Anjali Kumar — Legal Counsel, Business Strategy, and Spiritualism

044: Anjali Kumar — Legal Counsel, Business Strategy, and Spiritualism 1024 512 Chase Jennings

Anjali Kumar on That's Total Mom Sense Podcast with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

This episode is for the mompreneurs in the audience. So you have your newly launched brand and have taken it to market. You are seeing steady growth, are consistently posting compelling content on your company website and social media channels, and are engaging with your audience in an authentic way.

Last week, we talked about creating a buzz and establishing your brand credibility through Event Production with veteran Rachel Paige Goldstein.

Today, we are talking about all things legal related to your business. Enter author, attorney, advisor, speaker and idea acupuncturist, Anjali Kumar.

Anjali recently co-founded The Justice Dept, a women-led firm focusing on legal counsel and business strategy development for female entrepreneurs, executives, talent, and brands in technology, consumer product, entertainment, and fashion. Prior to that, she was the Founding Chief People Officer and General Counsel at Cheddar, and the Founding Head of Social Innovation and Founding General Counsel at Warby Parker. Anjali was Founding General Counsel at Acumen and Senior Counsel at Google. While at Google, Anjali curated and hosted the Google Speaker Series on campus in NYC bringing Googlers from around the globe face-to-face with today’s most prominent and innovative thought leaders including Anthony Bourdain, Questlove, and Jacques Pépin and hosted a YouTube interview series “Lunchtime at Google.”

Anjali has taught for several years as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School and Fordham University. She has served as an advisor to prominent technology companies, luxury fashion brands, consumer products, and non-profit organizations including Malala Fund and IDEO.org.

In November 2017 she spoke at TEDWomen. Her “beautiful inspiring, and funny” talk “My Failed Mission To Find God – And What I Found Instead”, based on her book Stalking God: My Unorthodox Search For Something To Believe In (Hachette 2018), has been watched by over 3 million people around the world and translated into over twenty languages.

Tune In:

Meet My Guest:

Press:

Mom Haul:

029: Samantha Ettus — The Secrets to Living a Satisfying Life

029: Samantha Ettus — The Secrets to Living a Satisfying Life 1024 512 Chase Jennings

29 Samantha Ettus on That's Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda Gupta

I often compare life to a pie and how many pieces of the pie are dedicated to our various priorities be it our family, relationships, our work life, our homes, and our self-care and personal goals and so on.

Samantha Ettus wrote her fifth book on exactly that: The Pie Life: A Guilt Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction where she breaks down this metaphor to a granular level in such a compelling way. She is a bestselling American author, speaker, TV contributor and syndicated radio host, widely known as a work life balance expert and successful businesswoman,

Since earning her undergraduate and MBA degrees from Harvard, Sam is a renowned speaker and host of a nationally syndicated call-in radio show and best-selling author of several books: The Experts’ Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do, The Experts’ Guide to Life at Home, The Experts’ Guide to Doing Things Faster, and The Experts’ Guide to the Baby Years. She writes a popular weekly work/life newsletter and penned a Washington Post Op-Ed that landed in the top 10 Op-eds in 2017.

As a dedicated champion of women, Sam has devoted her career to advocating and supporting women in the pursuit of their dreams. Thousands of women from C-level leaders to administrative assistants to moms returning to the workforce have benefitted from Sam’s unique guidance. In Sam’s quest to help women achieve financial independence, she launched Park Place Payments.

We delve into all of this and more – listen in!

Tune In:

Meet My Guest:

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Show Notes:

  • 02:00 – Introduction
  • 04:45 – The better your life is, the better you are at being a better person
  • 06:30 – Setting specific goals for yourself
  • 10:00 – Kids and productivity
  • 12:50 – Behind The New Way to Get Happy, Samantha’s TEDx talk
  • 17:00 – How to inspire our kids to fulfill their potential
  • 22:30 – Building communities
  • 24:00 – Competitors
  • 27:00 – Client-focused solution
  • 32:30 – Taking pride in your work
  • 33:00 – “Mom built”
  • 38:20 – Growing up
  • 48:00 – Early stages of child development
  • 53:30 – Mom sense moment
  • 55:00 – Quote to live by: “Don’t live life in the past lane”
  • 55:45 – Mom Haul: Bandolier phone strap and Travel Esteem Steamer

Mom Haul:

Rupa Parekh – Jai Jai Hooray!

Rupa Parekh – Jai Jai Hooray! 600 600 Kanika

 

I am always on the lookout for educational, cultural toys to teach my kids about our Hindu religion in a fun, captivating way. When I attended Brown Girl Magazine‘s “Mimosas with Mom” event in New York (thanks for hosting Trisha Sakhuja!), I was thrilled to meet fellow mompreneur Rupa Parkeh. Her company, Umani (named after her daughter Uma and son Niko), creates beautifully-crafted, simple learning tools that introduce our Indian culture to new audiences with modern flair. Rupa told me about her first product launch, the Jai Jai Hooray flash card set, which showcases the nine deities of Hinduism in a SAY-SEE-LEARN framework enabling anyone to be a teacher or student. I thought the concept was brilliant and bought a set for my twins.

Rupa and I stayed in touch as she relocated from New York to Houston and she included me in a focus group for her next launch, The Goddess Power Tower.

Wasn’t that inspiring? I’ll give you a second to wipe your tears and blow your nose. This commercial pulls at my heartstrings too and makes me think of all the strong women in my life, especially my nani who taught me to follow my sanatan dharma, or “the right way to live.” The Goddess Power Tower poignantly conveys how each goddess in Hindu mythology is a mother (Mata), and is synonymous with virtues we should aspire to, like Sarawasti Mata symbolizes wisdom and Durga Mata is a fearless warrior. We all face mom guilt from time to time and underestimate ourselves and our abilities, but the truth is, we are real-life goddesses and make an impact on our children in so many ways.

 

I was honored to be a part of Jai Jai Hooray’s #SheisaGoddess campaign where nine women were featured to represent the nine goddesses. Rupa chose me as her real-life Parvati, the ambassador of motherhood and fertility; You can read more about it here and check out photos here.

I am so pleased to have met Rupa and convinced her to share her story on Musings of a Mompreneur. 😉 Originally from Buffalo, she attended Northwestern for undergrad and earned her MBA from Wharton. Her husband Emre is Turkish American. Rupa has been working in tech, design, and innovation for the past 15 years and aims to help children, and adults alike, learn and play better.

What does motherhood mean to you?

Being a mother to Uma and Niko has been such an honor and blessing. They are growing up to be such clever, funny and creative kids. Our first and second thoughts nearly everyday that we wake up as parents are: “wow, I hope we make them proud” and “how long before they realize we have no idea what we’re doing?!”

When did you become a mompreneur?

I come from a family of business people. We talked about customers and clients at dinner; we geek out about ads. Everyone in my family is sort of a sucker for good marketing.

Umani and Jai Jai Hooray was inspired by the family I’m starting to grow. Both my husband and I are connected to our culture, but we’re not experts. It’s an overwhelming feeling to have children and suddenly you’re supposed to be a teacher of language, customs, and heritage. When Uma was a baby, I searched for tools, games and activities that were both engaging and well designed. I couldn’t find much. Not about India nor any other culture. We saw a gap in the market and went for it. Umani was born.

You believe that every day is Mother’s Day and designed the Goddess Power Tower to serve as a reminder.

Absolutely. Moms, by definition, can do more! It’s astonishing to think about the amount of thinking, feeling, planning, loving, dreaming and nurturing a mom can do all at once.

Celebrating mom just one day out of the year isn’t enough! We thought it would be really fun to create a toy that makes it easier for families to treasure mama. Afterall, for little ones, mom is the center of their universe–she IS a goddess. (Unfortunately, I think that wears off fast as they become tweens!)

Our favorite part of the Goddess Power Tower is the poem that builds when you stack each block. It’s an ode to mommy that should resonate with any family, regardless of their cultural background.

We loved your mom Rashmi Parkeh’s feature. How did your mom inspire you to start your business?

My mom started her small business when I was 6 months old. She is a force of nature–at 69 she has more energy than I think I will ever have. She is also our families culture keeper. Even before we had children, I always wondered, “how do I bottle up my mom and all of her tips and stories?” Umani and Jai Jai Hooray are a first step toward doing that.

Who is your inner Goddess?

Great question! What’s really cool about the Goddess Power Tower is that it brings to life that women have so many personas. On some days, I feel like a warrior (Durga) and other days I’m more calm and fluid (Ganga).

What are your hopes for Umani for the future?

Toys, books and media are simply not diverse–certainly not in the United States. We want to help families feel more culturally connected and we’re only just scratching the surface. We’ll be experimenting with digital learning and play in the coming year. Stay tuned!

What are your top tips for mothers and mompreneurs.

  1. Be patient with yourself. The chips are unfortunately still stacked against moms so we have to create our own opportunities AND set our own pace.
  2. Get better at vocalizing what you need and want in real-time. With your colleagues, boss, spouse, friends–be transparent about what you’re feeling, what you need and what could help you. Moms are optimizers not festerers!
  3. Make time for date night, girls time or solo sanctuaries. If we’re lucky, life is a marathon. Newborn and toddler years are exhausting. Don’t burn out when you’ve just begun!