How have you all been? After a week-long hiatus, I am back with the next on #mwiseries. Hope you enjoyed reading about Shilpi, Co-Founder, Indieprojectstore. Mommying is a daunting task, isn’t it? Now imagine being a mother, a Nutritionist, a blogger, Ph.D. student, and an entrepreneur at the same time; Phew! That seems tough. Meet our next inspiring mother, Elina Wadia, Founder, DietFunda who is all that.
I started following Elina when I first began blogging. Elina is the sweetest, humble person I have spoken to. Elina is a health coach and guides people to eat right and stay healthy. She is also a parenting blogger at MomFunda, where she writes about baby rearing.
Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Hi, I’m Elina Wadia. I’m someone who people have a love-hate relationship with because I’m a Nutritionist :p We are a small family of three- Me, my husband and our precious little girl who is 11 months old.
How did the idea of DietFunda come up? What inspired you to be an entrepreneur?
I was an entrepreneur long before I even knew of the meaning of this term. I used to make paper jewelry, handicrafts, and whatnot and sell them during exhibitions at school. Not just that, even as a kid, I had a million business ideas which I used to share with my father every other day- with graphs and details on funds and profits. Of course, most of the ideas were naive and impractical, but one thing my family knew for sure- that there was a burning desire in me to do something in life right from the beginning. DietFunda happened even before I completed my college. I realized that in a city like Mumbai, where traveling is a pain due to traffic and crowded streets, having someone just a click away to guide you and help you stay fit and healthy is a boon! That’s when I decided to have a virtual clinic of my own, and thus, DietFunda was born!
How tough or easy was it for you to decide to be an entrepreneur?
Honestly, it was not a very easy journey, but it wasn’t tough too. I was one woman army of my small endeavor. I did have massive emotional support and backing of my family, but I did everything by myself, that too, with bare minimum investment- from purchasing my domain and hosting, designing my website, preparing questionnaires and diet chart formats, making my visiting cards to marketing my brand. It took me a while to establish it, but I must say, the journey has been very satisfying.
How has your journey been? What did you enjoy the most being an entrepreneur?
It’s been a fabulous one. I started very small. Not many people knew about DietFunda or me for a long time. But slowly and gradually, I began to grow. I modified (and beautified) my website, increased my reach, got active on social media platforms and did everything possible to get visibility, but honestly, what worked is: ‘word of mouth.’ That’s how I expanded and got patients/clients not just from several states of India, but also from various corners of the world.
I won’t lie, I have worked in various setups like hospitals, research units, teaching institutes, etc. but what I love about being an entrepreneur is the fact that it gives me the flexibility to do various things and multitask without affecting my personal space. I’m able to attend to my little one’s needs, be there for her and my husband all the time, make fresh food for them daily, take care of my home, run errands, write parenting blogs and pursue my doctorate too. All of this wouldn’t have been possible if I were working full-time.
You are a blogger, an entrepreneur and a mom to a super energetic little one, how do you juggle between all these duties?
Honestly, it’s tough. My trick is to do all that I can when my little girl sleeps- be it when she naps during the daytime or when she sleeps at night- that’s when I sit and write articles for my blog, cater to my patients and work on my Ph.D. I quit the job of my dreams, i.e., professorship so that I could be there for my child and raise her in the best way possible, which is why I don’t prefer doing anything else when she’s awake. Although, I’ve been training her to play independently so that I can manage a little work otherwise too and of late, I see a little success in this area so let’s keep our fingers crossed.
What is your morning routine? What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Frankly, I’m not an early riser. I sleep late and wake up late. My mornings are generally hectic. I prepare breakfast, lunch-box and all the meals of the day before my husband leaves for work. I then feed my daughter and bathe her and put her back to sleep. By then, it’s usually noon. So, clearly, I don’t have a morning routine. It’s a mad rush:p
Do you get time for yourself? What is your mantra to relax and unwind?
Yes, always. I never end my day without watching a TV show or some random YouTube video. I either do that when I’m cooking, drying clothes or eating my lunch. That’s how I unwind. I firmly believe that no matter how busy one is, it’s incredibly crucial to take some time out for oneself and relax in whatever way possible, even if it is for a couple of minutes. Since I stay alone and don’t have anyone to talk to, turning the TV on or playing some video in the background makes me feel good.
What is that one thing/person that keeps you motivated?
When I get emails from my patients telling me that they’ve achieved their targets/their blood sugars, have dropped/their blood pressure is normal, etc., that’s when I feel the kind of bliss and satisfaction that nothing else gives me. That’s the feeling which keeps me motivated all the time- The sense of accomplishment, the feeling of giving someone a healthy life. It’s priceless!
Do you have meltdowns? How do you handle such situations?
Very often. Seriously. There are so many days when I leave everything, go to the washroom, sit on the toilet seat and cry my lungs out. And most of these days, I’m usually taken care of by my little baby. When she doesn’t find me around, she hunts for me everywhere in the house, pushes the washroom door, crawls her way to me, holds my legs to stand up and insist on being carried. When I hold her and hug her, all my worries disappear.
Whom do you attribute your success to?why?
My family and my husband, undoubtedly. They’ve been my rock throughout the journey, especially my husband. He is the one who knows my potential and pushes me to put in more efforts in all that I pursue. He’s my most prominent critic and strongest support system. I wouldn’t have done anything without him!
What are your plans for 2018?
This year I want to get back on track, career-wise. I took a long maternity break to focus on my daughter, which I’m very proud about. I reduced the number of patients I handled, kept my job on hold, stopped appearing on a TV health show, which was once a regular thing- and basically paused everything I did before I conceived her. Now that she’s almost one, it’s time to focus on my career again. This quarter, I plan to work relentlessly on expanding the reach of DietFunda, provide with better services to my clients and maybe hunt for some ambassadors too 🙂
What is your advice to people who want to be entrepreneurs?
If you have a business idea that doesn’t let you sleep, then here’s what you need to do- don’t sleep!! Do all the required homework, plan your business strategy, do some market study and start as soon as possible. In my opinion, passion and avidity are the keys to success. And if there’s anything you need to focus on, then that is your product/service. It will speak for you! You don’t always need big OOH advertisements or fancy websites. If your product/service is top-notch, you’ll find people coming to you from all nooks and corners of the globe. Think of it this way- will you invest your money in your product/service if you were a customer? If your answer is a definite ‘yes,’ then go for it, my friend! You’ll kill it! 😀
Elina, Thank you for being a part of this series. You are indeed the greatest inspiration.
Thank you for reading
Until next time,