by David Taylor // Contributing Writer
MTSU students received a blessing without disguise Monday evening when “serial social entrepreneur” Miki Agrawal spoke about the philosophies that have empowered her entrepreneurial work and book, Do Cool Sh*t.
Agrawal, an entrepreneur whose work has exploded across the world, gave a rousing one-hour lecture. This lecture explored her work’s history and the motives which provided her works with substantial influence around the world in such a short time.
Agrawal’s numerous projects are as diverse as an undergarment for menstruating women in developing countries and a farm-to-table restaurant concept. In Do Cool Sh*t, she distills the thought process and inspirations to which she credits her success into a self-help book for entrepreneurs.
After a brief introduction by MTSU Professor Leigh Anne Clark, Agrawal did not begin speaking about her past. Instead, she began by relating to and resonating with the students’ present.
She started with a quote from her father about good news and bad news.
“The bad news is no: you cannot go to the party,” Agrawal remembered her father once telling her. “The good news is you’ll get an A on the test.”
Mirroring her father’s style of optimistic analysis, she began her talk with some bad news: the unemployment level of post-college graduates is rising. Agrawal’s silver lining?
“Society was created by people no different than you or me,” she said. “We all have the power to create our own reality.”
Her story was well-received for several reasons. Most importantly, she had a message to which students could truly relate. Agrawal made it very clear that it’s okay students often have no clue about what to do with the degrees they are accruing debt to receive. In fact, her opening message proved it is often better to deny the standard expected of us all. Especially when it comes to partying at college.
She concluded her hour saying that entrepreneurship was the “most vibrant” field today. Following this she went into detail about the things that helped her, asking students to “put them over your toilet.”
Her list is as follows:
- You are as good as the five closest friends you keep;…they must inspire and support you or they are “depleters”.
- Master a skill.
- Solve a real problem;…annoying things are opportunities. She expounded upon this part of the list with three further points.
- What sucks in my world?
- Does it suck for more than just me?
- Can I maintain my passion [through the trials it must face]?
- Purpose is your best motivation.
- Ask people, ‘How can I help you?’ instead of ‘How can you help me?’
Miki expounded significantly on numbers four and five. Regarding purpose, she explained that she finds motivation in the rewarding feeling gained from genuinely helping the less fortunate and less recognized. She expounded on helping others instead of yourself by asserting how it can give others a reason to take a chance on you.
The points all found ground in her subsequent comments but the crowd responded best to her closing comment about how communication is key: “Nobody trusts shit-talkers.”
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