Own who you are | A Leaders Mentality

portrait of Natasha Dhayagude
Natasha Dhayagude

What were your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

  1. The biggest challenges we faced were finding access to lab facilities in order to do the work and develop a prototype. For us to work with clients to actually validate that this technology was working, and was a really big one. And there’s not a lot of access to lab facilities within the area to have the right.
  2. Two, having the right expertise on the team is always important core to anybody starting a new business. Having the right expertise when it came to guiding technical, research, and development strategy. Because that is core to helping to build the product lines that we’ve commercialized in the market today.
  3. Lastly, like any other entrepreneur, the biggest thing is having financial resources or having the investment to help us back that up. To develop a product and bring it to market, and have the operating expenses we needed in order to establish a company. Instead of reinventing the wheel, looking at other companies within your space can help model what you want. Looking at the biggest successes and biggest failures and learning from them.

What do you think are some of the unique challenges and barriers that women of color face in pursuing entrepreneurship.

  1. Noticing, whenever a co-founder entered a meeting, and who’s a white male, people would always assume that my colleague was in charge. People would always look to him for final input on things, and that was really strange. However, you have to be quick to shut it down. You also notice that the credit for major milestones, and or ideas can sometimes be given to others.
  2. Choose to speak up and make sure that people know that you are the driving force behind implementing these ideas. After a while you’ll notice these things shifted and changed, people will start to view you as the CEO, or leader or whatever position you hold.  However, sometimes there’s a strange connotation so they can often describe your personality as aggressive, assertive, loud, attention seeking, and maybe even bitchy at times.
  3. Be outspoken and exude a sense of entitlement to be treated exactly similarly to any of your white male peers. It can often be seen as the ultimate sin for a woman of color, living in a white male or dominant society to have and expect to be treated like an alpha. Take it as an opportunity to be more powerful and influential, and really take on positions that matter and help create some societal change.

Advice to give to your younger self?

  1. Be patient. You don’t just build a product in a lab and then go sell it to people. You have to build it, validate it. It takes time to build it and scale it up. You have to understand that  it may perform differently at the allowed level, it may perform differently when it’s all filled up, and you have to then put the financial resources behind purchasing all of that.
  2. Nothing in value comes easily. In fact, anything of value takes time and whether it’s a matter of developing a skill. Working on marketing for Glam Camp, whatever it is. Everything takes time and you have to have the utmost patience and resilience through that process. As you continue to grow. Always bring it back to that.
  3. Stop fearing missing out, or fear that someone’s building faster than you. Understand that people are in different timelines, and people are at different stages of life. This is what drives impatience and when you’re really young, in your early 20s.