I have known Rashmi Shetty all my life, albeit it’s a different thing that she doesn’t know me. She was a senior in my school and was the Headgirl. I was so in awe while growing up for she had a striking … a very striking personality. A girl who stood out in her countenance, her conduct, her smile and most of all, a determined look. Of course, since we never knew each other as acquaintances or friends even, we never exchanged words or anything cognitive, up until now, when I decided to feature her as one of my Boss Girls. Today, she is the Co-Founder of her Communications Outfit – Storytellers 101 Communications…and why am I not surprised 🙂 Her interview only validated all that I had thought of her and I feel so good that she agreed to speak to me.
So if you are looking for some inspiration, a go-getter story and a practical approach to being a Boss … well, go on and read this. This is no sob story. This … my dear friends is the story of how to be a Boss Girl. Presenting – Rashmi Shetty.
- Rashmi, do tell us a bit about your journey. When did you decide to go on your own. And the chapter before you started Storytellers101.
Having been a PR (Public Relations) professional for over 15 years (in PR agencies and Corporate Communication) both Leon (my business partner) and I were not just passionate about our craft but also clear on the following two aspects:
PR can enable in the storytelling of brands: This medium of communication has evolved from only media to media, influencers and collaborations, thus offering a 360 degree communications approach to clients who want to tell their unique brand story and build it.
Remote working is the need of the hour: With infrastructures crumbling and technology advancing, it was clear to us that people should spend more time in thinking about communication solutions for their clients instead of spending hours in travel and being fatigued by it.
Basis these two key aspects, our experience and passion, we founded Storytellers 101 Communications in 2016. In our 3 year journey we have serviced over 40 clients and grown the team enabling unique storytelling for each of our clients and creating passionate PR professionals who think differently.
2.There is always an emphasis of geographical footprints in terms of number of offices when it comes to public relations. You are doing it seamlessly with technology and without big office spaces etc. Tell us, what is the big idea behind it, how are you using technology or rather digital media in PR, which is such a people-based occupation.
We firmly believe that it is only limited thinking that gives one boundaries in performing their craft to the best of their ability. Technology has made everything seamless and today it’s only about figuring out that strategic plan for your clients while remaining operationally solid that matters. Technology enables this.
We are all connected via emails, watsapp, slack, telegram, skype and what have you to make business function remotely and smoothly. It’s on us to manage this technology for ease of professional work. At Storytellers101 we use the mutually comfortable means of communication with our clients and teams. We for sure meet our clients, media, influencers, collaborators, industry friends and mentors, but maintain regular connect through technology.
3. You have a lot of your team across the country and working remotely. How do you bring about the discipline in yourself, in them and how do you monitor results and expectations?
Discipline and self monitoring are the key ingredients to make any remote working a success. We don’t hire on a lark. We ask the candidates for written samples, speak to them and meet them (or skype). Once we are comfortable that they understand the seriousness of our operations and have the drive we hire them with a one month probation time built in. These helps us weed out the ones who talk well and deliver less:)
We have processes of client updates, internal team updates and check in’s through calls that enables all of us to be on the same path of achieving the best that we can for our clients. Personally, being a mother and multiple other things I stay disciplined by prioritising things and doing more than intellectualising.
4. As much as I do not like asking this question, and again how it’s never a question that a man never gets asked, and yet, I am sure, my readers are most keen to know, how do you bring about the determination, the will and the motivation to run a company, predominantly working from home?
It’s quite simple actually! I love what I do, have never worked for money, have the best personal support system and the best business partner 🙂 More importantly it’s the absence of choice that drives me. If not Storytellers101 then what? Go back to travelling and working on things that you don’t quite agree with? In life generally I don’t keep options. It’s this or nothing. That drives one insanely! Like every other entrepreneur I am hard working, stubborn and stick to timelines to achieve the set targets.
- Who are your biggest support when it comes to running your company…how does the work and home balance come about, as an entrepreneur, as a mother, as a wife?
My family and my business partner are my biggest support in keeping this twin boat of work life in balance. And to honour their support I work very hard and with full honesty and integrity. Our team at work is top class and that helps in managing work better. At home I am privileged to have the support of the house help to manage day to day activities. You need a strong team, hard work and a stubborn spirit to never give up and to make anything work; that is exactly what is required when working remotely too.
- What or how do you describe yourself best as a person? Personal or professional.
Personally – My basics of honesty, loyalty and hard work aside I am ever evolving! I often look around me and wonder why people still love me, why they stick around and how they often get me even when I sometimes don’t get myself!
Professionally – I am insanely consistent and focused on achieving targets. A team player, I strongly believe in the strength of a team. I have a lot of integrity and truly believe – impossible is nothing.
On the downside – I am complex, I can go into another dimension even in between a conversation and when laziness hits me – I hibernate!
- Can you give us a Peek into your life that shaped you to become the woman that you are today.
My hardworking simple honest parents, strong sibling, friends who accepted me as I am, bosses who encouraged and pushed me, my life partner and my son – have all contributed to who I am today. With regards to experiences, it was certainly the bad ones that made me look inward and find that reservoir of strength that has enabled me to keep on walking always with a spring in every step. My people and that crazy super power up above just doesn’t give up on me so how can I? Sadness, pain, hurt sure exist but so does Love, acceptance and growth.
- 8. Who do you look up to or who inspires you the most in life?
In life, in the event of sounding not very humble, I look up to myself. I have gone through a lot and here I am, standing fighting and believing. And i look to the super power who exists in all of us. Most of the times I myself can’t explain the things happening in my own life! That super power exists and like I always say – The will of god will never take you where his grace won’t protect you. I am a living proof of that. I am forever grateful for all my loved ones who accept me the way I am.
- And finally, a lot of my readers are men and women who want to start on their own as entrepreneurs, in their chosen fields. Can you give us three tips on how they can walk on the path of successful entrepreneurship and start their own ventures?
Be consistent – I can’t stop harping on how important this quality is. A great idea, a stand out work, a flash in the pan – is all great – imagine if you did that when climbing the Everest! You would never reach the peak. Sure have moments of amazing things but keep it rock solid consistent. Never ever give up. And most likely if you keep at it consistently you would not have to.
Set goals achieve them – Setting goals is easy but if you push achieving them to a later time it doesn’t drive you enough to achieve them. Set a time line, a deadline and work work work till you achieve that. Once that rest, take a break and then come back with more goals. Challenge yourself.
Balance is everything – Maintain a healthy balance between work and family and friends. Make time for exercise. Eat on time, eat healthy. Take breaks (reading a book is mine, it’s that’s simple). Stay focused. Be clear. Seek help. Be un-afraid. Know that without balance it will all go away. Give enough to both your loved ones and your passion which is now business. Both can and must co exist. Life, laugh, love and give your best every day.