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I used to play the "what if" game too: What if I am making a mistake by not staying in my safe job? What if I break up with this person who is not my "person" but is good on paper but then can't find anyone else to love me? What will my Asian parents say if I am still single at 30 or not giving them bragging rights with the doctor-like job I have at a prestigious institution? And the foundational fear of them all was: "WHAT IF I FAILED? WHAT WOULD MY FAMILY AND PEOPLE SAY??"

We live in a society where the word "failure" is synonymous with all of the celebrities and public figures who experience "failure" and were made to look like fools in the headlines or in front of their friends and family. This public shaming makes a lot of people scared to try anything new at all, because they would say to themselves "What if THAT happened to me?"

The good news? We can reframe all of it.
We don't even need to convince ourselves that the word "fail" or "fail forward" or "fail fast" or "fail hard" are good words. Because they're not. They have the word "fail" in it and that word feels BAD.

So why not replace it altogether? I chose to replace the word "failure" with "revelation" because SO much gets revealed to us when we are not experiencing so-called "success". Hitting dead ends, dealing with adversity, not knowing whether things are going to work out or not, are all opportunities to learn and grow.

So I choose to forge into the unknown, start things up, unsure of what's ahead...because if there is one certainty, it's that I will learn, grow and have a great big adventure along the way. What is being revealed to you? I'd love to hear!



@mikiagrawal IG


Hello friends!
I am officially launching my blog called "Miki's Monthly Musings" where I will be sharing timely thoughts, ideas, new products that I am dreaming up and launching with my teams, and new products and/or services that I am not necessarily working on myself but I think are changing the game in the categories of personal development, innovation, societal disruption and sustainability. You will only receive an email once a month from me, so drink these musings in when they come into your inbox. You will likely need to move these to your Primary inbox so please do so now. 
Also, do send your friends to sign up to this blog if you think it will be of interest to them. 

This month's topics: 
1. Mother's Day & Entrepreneurship 
2. Inner U - a program that hyper-accelerates you to achieving your Big Hairy Audacious Goals
3. Our new product that launched today under TUSHY brand

1. Mother's Day & Entrepreneurship 
With Mother's Day approaching and this being the second Mother's Day for me (cue breakfast in bed and massages), I realized that I don't really consider having a kid that much different to starting my businesses that serve people and the planet. It all fulfills me. Societal preconditioning likely infers that I'm supposed to say "My kid trumps it all" and he does in many ways, like I kept him alive for 14 months on my breast milk and shower him with love and teach him new things every day, and sing to him when he is crying or tired and laugh with him when he is happy (which is most of the time!) but my social enterprises also require so much of my energy as I birth them into the world, and they need me to feed them and clean up their poop and nurture them and grow them too. And I love serving them all because they're all my babies in their own right. One day Hiro will grow up and he won't need me at all. Same with my businesses. One day they will grow up and I will be replaced by a different girlfriend or boyfriend, and I will then have the space to birth something new. 

In my most recent book Disrupt-Her, I dedicate my book to Hiro saying "Hiro, I hope to never lose myself for you, because the more me I can be, the more I can inspire you to be you." And I see the result of that with my own two eyes. As Hiro sees me happy and fulfilled, I see him happy and fulfilled. We are mirrors to each other. 

Also, it really does "take a village" for both babies and businesses. I have a dedicated A+ nanny who loves Hiro like her own and takes unbelievable care of him (and US!) and I feel very lucky to have her in our lives, as the Managing Director of Hiro Happy :-) I have an incredible CEO and leadership team at TUSHY who take great care of that business baby and I get to really dream and play with them all, along with new babies that are incubating in my belly, both human (soon) and product form. 

As more people ask me "how do I juggle being a mom and an entrepreneur", I simply say, " ya just need one more set of systems that need to be put in place" and you figure out what that system is to allow it to hum in the way you want. 


2. Inner U - a program that hyper-accelerates you to achieving your Big Hairy Audacious Goals
Six years ago, I decided to start working with a coach. How did I know she was the right coach for me? She came highly recommended, she already coached Fortune 500 CEOs, entrepreneurs and top talent like Hugh Jackman, Ashton Kutcher and the CEO of Dropbox among many more. Just to ensure that this was worth it, I even invited myself over to her home for the weekend to sniff out her life. And it was amazing. Her marriage of 20 years was still hot, her kids were emotionally aware and her people were thriving and honest with one another. So I decided to go for it. 
I wanted to dive deep within myself to figure out how to actualize my dreams in ALL of the areas in my life powerfully and with full integrity. 
I worked with Lauren to unravel all of the pieces, what I was doing, how I was thinking about it all, what results I currently had and what results I wanted. She used her method to help me unpack it all and thoughtfully assemble it back with intentionality, accountability and self confidence. 
From the deep work I did, the following happened: 

  • In business, my company went from negative sixty thousand dollars to fifty million in revenue in three short years. 

  • In my relationships, I cleaned up all of the leaking relationships and speak my truth no matter what so nobody is guessing how I feel.

  • In my love life, my coach put together a “Love Contract” for Andrew and me, holding us accountable to deepen our love and create at least 2-3 intimate moments per week in addition to 4 compliments a day to keep feeling special...

During the hardest and most painful times in my life, she held me at my highest self and helped me keep dreaming and still does when I am dealing with things that come up. 
I still spend 90 minutes a week working with her and it has truly changed my life.

I am so so proud and excited to see her take her method and launch “Inner.U” - which is basically all of the work I did with her and the work she did with the top talent and CEOs, but in a 12-session online course format that is affordable and worth it to ALL if you want to truly live your dream life in every aspect of it. I am helping her spread this magic bc I know what her results are and they are FOR REAL.

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3. Our new product launched today under TUSHY brand
After one year of working on this product, we finally launched the TUSHY Travel bidet. Since launching TUSHY, we have seen more articles written about "Why have Americans not adopted the bidet" than ever before. It's promising when we see the zeitgeist and weirdness around using water for your butt change (which btw how we got indoctrinated to think that using dry paper to wipe the dirtiest parts of our bodies is amazing to me). Even Michael Che, SNL's writer, came onto the show to do a whole segment on it. It's about time we take the bidet on the go. 


Team TUSHY also held the world’s first FUNERAL FOR A TREE (named Will O Baum) at the historic Judson Memorial Church in Washington Square Park in NYC. Actor Matthew Morrison led the funeral as the MC, his talented wife Renee Morrison played the wife “Maple” of the dead tree, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez spoke about preserving the planet with urgency along with a representative from Trees.org, 25-part choir, brass band, comedy, poetry, to inspire a more sustainable, tree-saving world. The main goal of the event was to help people see that using toilet paper kills 15 million trees per year and there are more sustainable, healthier, less expensive ways to properly clean ourselves (like TUSHY). Watch video here:

My Thinx Ride

*This is a personal statement from me, Miki, as a human being, not as a representative of THINX. Since the original story has now mushroomed into a true game of telephone (cue Braveheart moment), I thought it’d be best to share the truth of what actually happened.

Re: the allegations against me: 

I want to express my deepest thanks for the thousands of wonderful messages of support I received during this sad and strange time, each one has meant a lot...especially since I was pregnant with my beautiful Hiro growing inside of me during that difficult time. Part of me believes that the Universe gifted me this time to quiet and be with my baby and loved ones and I will always be grateful for it in the end. 

Since a few people have asked about maternity leave policy, here is my statement on that:
We haven’t had any pregnant women until now which is why we didn’t really have a real policy in place for that. Like any start-up when faced with something new, you do your best in solving it as it arises and then figure out a system...in this case, as pregnancies were arising, we were figuring things out where the new mother can either work from home for part of the time... and we were also planning on getting an in-house nanny for the office. These were all things we were talking about recently because it only came up recently and we too are learning as we go. And while it would be amazing to do, we can’t predict everything immediately, especially as a start-up and simply need a little benefit of doubt. This is super standard for so many companies. We have proven over and over again that we care so much about improving the lives of women globally through innovation, eliminating the oldest shame in the world (a woman’s period) and one that has helped SO many girls go back to school in the developing world, changing their lives forever.


THINX was a passion project of mine from Day 1 and was born out of a real need. I couldn’t believe how many times I had period accidents in the middle of soccer games or while stuck in traffic or in meetings and had to interrupt my days and run home & change and manage the mess. In researching it, I couldn’t believe that there was no period solution out there that really worked for women’s needs and that there had only been 3 major period innovations in the entire 20th century. It was even more insane when I found out that hundreds of millions of girls in the developing world were missing a week of school because of their periods and millions of those girls were dropping out of school because they simply didn’t have access to safe, menstrual products. And then the most insane thing I learned was that periods were so taboo globally that it was hard to discuss it openly, which is what was causing the lack of innovation in the first place. The thing that creates human life (a woman’s period) is the thing that makes women most ashamed!? No way.

So, my razor focused goal when we first launched THINX was to a) create a best-in-class, innovative period-proof underwear business b) support girls in the developing world who don’t have access to menstrual products c) break the period taboo once and for all.

When I started, like any entrepreneur, I was fighting for the life of the company, the clock was against us and I needed to make sure that we didn’t close our doors after 1 year like 60%+ of businesses do. I wanted to make sure my employees got a continuous paycheck and our shareholders saw growth. I was deeply focused on top and bottom line growth and on our mission to break the taboo. And under my leadership, we did it. We got out of the red, we never missed payroll, and we made a name for ourselves in a really tough, taboo category. THINX was on the map.

Then, things grew and they grew fast. Hockey stick growth fast. Beyond my wildest dreams fast. Like any Co-Founder/CEO, all I did was the best I could under these crazy circumstances. Yes, I have made a TON of mistakes along the way (who hasn’t?) but I can proudly say that our company has grown from an idea in my head to an innovation that is worn by millions of satisfied women globally in a few short years. And we have been at the forefront of the period feminism movement which truly is eliminating shame in the period space.

One problem area throughout our startup’s story and no different to many in our position: human resources. I didn’t take time to think through it. We grew so quickly and I didn’t hire an HR person (it was hard to rationalize hiring an HR person at the time with only 15 employees and then all of a sudden we were 30 people). I didn’t call references because I needed butts in seats fast. I didn’t put HR practices in place because I was on the road speaking, doing press, brand partnerships, editing all of the creative and shouting from the rooftops about THINX so we can keep going.

All of a sudden, health insurance, vacation days, benefits and maternity leave were brought up (at the time we didn’t have any pregnant women on the team unlike now where we have 3, including me! :-)) and when you’re a start-up and you’re growing and moving so fast (remember, we’ve only really hit this crazy growth period 18 months ago), to sit down and get an HR person and think about those things were left to the bottom of the pile of things to get done. We managed to put basic policies in place, raised health insurance benefits to $300 per employee per month from $150/month immediately after our employees asked for it and shared concerns about affording birth control, (which btw for a start-up was HUGE progress and I was SO proud to offer health insurance as early as we did). We took the team to Shakespeare on Hudson for a magical team retreat weekend and we had a moment of bonding hard, which I’ll never forget.

I was equally proud that we gave a big chunk of our profits in 2015 and 2016 to our employees. Almost all of our team got close to 3 months salary for bonus for hitting sales targets. So if we didn’t offer “market based pay” upfront (#startuplife), they got paid a big bonus on the back end which more than made up for it and gave them an incentive to hustle hard with me. And everyone hustled and got paid. I remember literally crying tears of joy on the days I was able to give out the bonuses because I never thought we’d ever get there. But we did.

Regardless, the HR issues kept happening and even if I fully stand by the tough personnel decisions I had to make to get us back on track, I didn’t put enough senior operational management with experience in place internally to run the office and run the day to day of the business while I was handling the external growth and wasn’t in the office.

“You should have gotten 100% of everything right the whole time Miki. How dare you.” It’s SO easy to find fault and complain about what people didn’t get and the things I lacked and I certainly admit wholeheartedly that I don’t have it all. No question. And yes, you can make a bulleted list of every misstep I’ve ever made (go for it), but what I am calling all of this is an opportunity to learn and grow. 

Also, it’s a certainty that all founders will have disgruntled people who feel thwarted by them throughout their entrepreneurial adventures. Tough calls have to be made like terminating people, and sometimes those terminated people can retaliate in ugly ways and I learned that we have to be prepared for it. Nearly all of my successful founder friends share eerily similar stories.

After 12 years of thinking about and working on THINX (my twin sis and I came up with the idea in 2005), I officially transitioned out as CEO. Part of it could be that I was ready to move onto my next adventure and spend QT with my newborn baby. Part of it was I gave up control too early (and learned that when real money’s involved, it becomes a different game.) My favorite saying is “iteration is perfection” and this is simply part of the iterative process of growing a business and learning from it. My head is high.

— -

All this to say: what an incredible ride this has been. The highs are high and lows are low, a veritable roller coaster. I have truly been blessed with so many lessons and learnings that I will take with me for the rest of my life, and I really cannot be more grateful.

Thanks for hearing me out and being a part of this journey.

Please message me on the contact form at mikiagrawal.com if you have any questions.


Ps. Probs a good time to share my favorite quote by Teddy Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the (wo)man who points out how the strong (wo)man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the (wo)man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and (period) blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends herself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if (s)he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that her place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
— Teddy Roosevelt

An Open Letter to Respectfully Quit Telling Me How to “Do Feminism” (and to just support one another, please!)

This is a call to the women in media — women writers, women editors, women in social media, women influencers, women in front of the camera and all media women in between.

I believe we have a huge opportunity in our hands. This opportunity is to take a deep breath and look around at one another with wide-eyed incredulity — and be reminded that less than 100 years ago (1920), American women’s voices were not equal, they were less-than and scoffed at. (Can we actually think about what life would be like if that was still the case today?)

I am eternally thankful to the strong female predecessors who pounded their fists and raised their voices for me, for us. They have given me the right to vote and the freedom to act on my ideals.

I believe we have an opportunity to continue to deepen the fragile but strengthening foundation that women stand on today, and not sabotage this foundation for the sake of “getting ahead” or for clicks, shares, likes and retweets. I believe we have a real opportunity to champion other fellow women who are doing good things in the world, mistakes and all — and not manipulate them in the hopes of “trying-to-find-a-juicy-story” and to “bring her to her knees”- because we have been there before — this is not a new story, sadly.

By taking part in writing these low vibrational stories, I believe we are perpetuating that which we are trying to move away from. If the “status quo” of how things are done in your office is to come up with negative stories about other women, please be reminded that you can say no. Positivity begets positivity. A positive, loving society begets a positive, loving society (pls read how female bonobos exist in feminist sisterhood in their societies Esp #3).

Speaking of, the term “feminist” has had to have a lot of bite for a long time. Gender inequality is real today, but I would have found it truly impossible to exist even 90 years ago in America.

Today, I have been given the opportunity and space to explore the term “feminist” and define it for myself. I believe that there is no “right” or “wrong” answer to the term, or “way to be” a feminist, as it’s just a term in the end. Everyone has their own point of view, personal stories, and experiences that dictate and shape their visceral reactions to feminism, and how/if they choose to be feminists.

The simplest and most widely accepted definition of feminism is “gender equality” (or, as Marie Sheer put it back in 1986, “feminism is the radical notion that women are people.”), but the term comes with a lot of connotation and nuance. According to this Washington Post poll from Jan 27, 2016 (really, read it), 43% of women describe feminism as “angry.” This was my original take on the term as well. I have since changed my own definition of the term as I have had the privilege to learn more about the plight of women and be reminded of how we got to where we are today. I wanted to put my own twist on feminism to highlight the very positive, empowering place that it comes from, and leave the perception of negativity behind, with the deep knowing of where it came from.

I believe that the whole point of the freedom that I have been given is that I can define feminism in my own way — hopefully, we all can. We should grant ourselves the freedom to explore these nuances for ourselves in our most authentic form, be it through art, journalism, poetry, entrepreneurship, activism, motherhood, clog dancing… whatever it is that makes us feel that we are empowered, and are empowering others. I live it in my own action-oriented way; I have built a business that is centered around my beliefs in gender equality, but I wouldn’t have called myself “feminist” when I first started out as the nomenclature meant something different to me. Does that make me a “fake feminist?” Or a “bad feminist?” Or “A-not-so-very-feminist?” Nope. It makes me a human, navigating my way through a society filled with misrepresentation and remnants of patriarchies past (and sometimes present), as so many of us are.

As for my company? Yes, feminism is an integral part of our brand strategy-but no, it’s not happening in a focus group room, and it’s not been decided by a Board. The notion of feminism as a part of THINX was an organic realization — a perfect fit — because it’s what we exist to do. Each and every word and image used in our communications and our campaigns is thought up and created by our team of young badass feminists (all of whom also have their own interpretations of the term). Integrating feminism into our marketing is not a ploy, and it is not exploitative; it’s reclamation of how brands treat and speak to women, and it’s an ideological pushback against generations of condescension and insulting marketing towards women. Plus, there’s nothing more refreshing than a nice, pink grapefruit.