As a trusted resource for the business community, the MindValley podcast often hosts innovators and industry disruptors. Hosted by Vishen Lakhiani, the podcast is home to entrepreneurial advice, thoughtful conversation, and business-minded banter. Recently, serial entrepreneur Miki Agrawal stopped by the podcast to discuss her previous experiences disrupting traditionally antiquated industries.
As the founder of several companies, including Wild, Thinx, and Tushy, Miki Agrawal often employs thoughtful tactics to raise eyebrows, spearhead conversation about needed change, and move industries forward. Read on for what Agrawal had to say on the MindValley podcast:
Miki Agrawal On Working The Press
Miki Agrawal: When we think about press, when we think about inviting press to our events, we never think about just sending a press release or sending them an email or blah, blah, blah, because when we do that, we know it never works. So, what does work? What works is when we invite the audience and the press to take part in the invitation experience from the get go. So, as an example, during New York Fashion Week, we decided that we want to create our first fashion show with period underwear. We were going up against the biggest companies, the biggest brands, the biggest labels.
What we learned is that if we create some weird invitation, maybe they’ll come to our event. So, I had my team go to Home Depot and buy some quick dry cement. My team had made these plexiglass invitations, black plexiglas with some embossed writing on it that just said date, time, what to wear, and location and that was it. Then, I had them set, pour this concrete into these little things and create these little bricks, which basically covered the invitation, the plexiglas invitation. I had my team, some of our models deliver these invitations, these little bricks to all of the press. When they went, they were super formal about it so they let them all in, and the silver platters and white gloves.
So, when they finally interfaced with the press, they were like, okay, we need you to smash the patriarchy, which by the way, men are also victims of, just saying. Smash the patriarchy in order to find the invitation and discover where I’m going and what I’m doing. So, it became a thing where they were a part of the experience. They smashed this thing, and they had to clean up all the smashed things and then carry it to the trash. It was a thing that they had to do to even just know where to go. Literally 80 presses RSVP’d in 24 hours, and we had the most epic event. Everybody wore white, everyone listened. We were like date, time, location, wear white, that was it. It was the most epic event. That was my final speech. I was sobbing, like an emotional person that we all are.
Miki Agrawal On Experiential Marketing
Miki Agrawal: Another thing, another which I’m not apologetic about, I see… Another thing is what we did was we wanted to create an event, similar thing, where we had the press crack open an egg and reveal a question. Of course, Instagram moment, they all came, we had a big press dinner and every person showed up, 100% of the people showed up to our event. So it’s just like, once you get them in with just something, you need to complete it.
We’re human beings, we like completing circles, we like completing stories. We’re very good storytellers in our heads. When you start and they’re already now part of the story, they want to complete it, so they’re going to show up to complete the story with you. So, I’ve learned that so many times over and over again, and it really works. Plus, you’re going to be competing with piles of press releases on their tables and that’s just… You’re like, “Ha.” You’re just so ahead of them. One of the things that our friend did after I talked about that for a pop-up shop, she basically sent balloons to all of the press to pop the balloon for the pop-up shop and it worked and everyone came. It was really cool. So, just giving you guys some ideas.
Miki Agrawal On Manifestos for ALL
Miki Agrawal: Okay. So, last couple of things are, I spent some time writing my books, Do Cool Sh*t and Disrupt-Her. Do Cool Sh*t really is looking at how to go from step zero to step one in building your dream business. I think so often, when we read autobiographies, I remember when I was first starting out thinking about entrepreneurship after I met my first entrepreneurs in New York City thinking like, wow, this opportunity… this is actually a thing. People can actually start businesses. I started reading all these books, like Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson was my first book that I fell in love with. In his book, it was like, then I raised a million dollars, and I built Virgin Records. I did this and I did that.
You’re like, “But how? What did you say in your first meeting to even get to the first meeting? How did you even raise your first $25,000?” Forget your first million, I want to know what you said and what you did in those meetings. I want to know how you got… Like, how did you even come up with the idea? What did you hone in on? Because we have so many ideas all the time, which one do you choose? How did I get my first meeting of the minds and all these people come and help ideas with me? What are all those things that I did to really build my first business? And so I was like, “Fuck it. I have no idea how to write a book.” But I basically put down everything I learned, how I got New York Times to write about us for the first time, how we raised our first $250,000, all those things to go from step zero to step one in business and life.
Most recently, I just this year, came out with my new book called Disrupt-Her which is a manifesto for the modern woman. I talked about how it’s called a Manifesto for the Modern Woman, but it actually is for everyone because when we think about the Bible, the Torah, the Quran, all these book, Aristotle, all these poetry, everything written by men, where they write man said this and man said that, and yet women read those texts too, right? Women read the Bible, women read Aristotle, women read all these… Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, women read those texts too. So, why can’t you say, manifesto for the modern woman and have men read it too? We can. So, this book is really meant to be read by everyone, but it says woman on there, okay, which includes man in the woman. Get it? Okay.
Miki Agrawal: What is it about? It’s really about how to disrupt 13 major areas in your life where society tells you how you’re supposed to do them. We’re just told over and over again, this is how it is. You can’t talk about money. You become cooler when you have more stuff. Like, actually the more stuff you have, the more notoriety you have. You have to get serious as you grow up because in your head b sit down, be quiet, shut up. If you want to go to college, shut up and listen. If you want to get a job then shut up and listen. Your voice isn’t a part of this equation. Like, this is what we’re hearing over and over again. So, we’re just like, okay, this is just the way it is. So, just stay in my lane and just like, do it that way. There are so many other ways. And we think about who is society, society is people who are no different than you or me, except for 100 years ago, well, now they’re irrelevant. So, can we create our own reality for ourselves? The answer is absolutely, yes.
Vishen Lakhiani: I’m Vishen Lakhiani, and this is the Mindvalley Podcast. Thank you to our guest, entrepreneur Miki Agrawal.
So, many of us spend the prime years of our lives preparing for careers that will most likely never satisfy us and unconsciously wind up as nothing more than cogs in a machine. But if you choose to listen to this podcast, you’re the type of person who recognizes that you were put on this planet for more than just paying bills. You’re not the type of person who settles for the status quo. You’re not here to settle for mediocrity. You know you have a gift, a talent, an idea, a service to share with the world, even if you may not be exactly sure what that is yet.