In this series ‘Career Changers’ we go out and talk to incredible women who have switched careers either because their earlier profession was not fulfilling enough or where some of us took a baby break as stay-at-home moms and now wish to explore new facets of our identity. Whatever your reason, we hope you find some answer through the experiences of women who have successfully made the switch. One thing that has come to the forefront in these conversations is the desire of many women to have a balance between their responsibilities at work and at home. Some of us desire to have professions that can be managed by working from home.
In this conversation with Rakshita Dwivedi of Recipe Dabba, you will discover that Rakshita was a Human Resources professional and decided to switch to a completely different line of work. Listen in to what her journey looked like in this transition and how she has managed to become a successful entrepreneur.
Q. Looking at your Linkedin profile showed that you are the founder and chief eating officer at Recipe Dabba, before we go forward tell us more about what this venture is and what you are eating there?
A. I’m really excited to share my journey with you all. Recipe Dabba is a place where we encourage healthy food habits. We empower families with healthy food eating habits especially young children and their parents. As a mother my focus was always on healthy eating habits and in 2014, I started Recipe Dabba as a food blog. I started sharing recipes with friends and family. What I realised was that there was still a gap in terms of adapting to this as a lifestyle. Plus, there was a gap in understanding the common sense behind healthy eating. In 2017 I started out with Recipe Dabba as a business venture, it’s been three years. I’m a happy mompreneur and solopreneur. Feedback from others is what motivates and helps me to keep moving forward.
My journey has been about realising what I like to do and what I can do every day, also at the same time helping others. The idea is to take it as a business venture and to help in providing solutions to parents for healthy eating habits of their children through Recipe Dabba.
Q. Tell us a bit about how you dealt with not having the comfort of other people around you. One of the things about having your venture is that you don’t have other people around you to share your ups and downs, was that a problem for you?
A. Yeah, absolutely. The journey has been a rollercoaster ride! Your question is the first one I asked myself, am I ready to let go of the fixed salary? But for me, it was about the passion and the cause which I was trying to address. That became more important. I value money more now that I really have to work hard towards earning it. I was looking for a lot of things, a more holistic life. I was trying to do something that I am more passionate about and having a balance in life as well.
When I started, I didn’t have it all figured out and that’s what the journey was all about. It’s been three years where I have explored the market and the loopholes where I can provide solutions. Reaching out to mothers and their children, explaining what healthy cooking is all about, which, is opposite to what people like to eat. The challenges persist but I keep pushing towards making it better for others, myself and Recipe Dabba.
Q. Other than the financial struggles, emotionally how do you feel about the switch and what has it changed in you on a very emotional level?
A. I would like to share that this journey of three years has been wonderful and empowering. I was able to explore a lot about my own capability. I was working out of the box. In a job you are limited by your job description; working in corporates too I was giving my best shot. But now I had a clean canvas and I had to paint my own art, my own masterpiece. My happiness quotient, emotional quotient all the quotients are on extreme highs. If I compare this journey and look at different aspects, the happiness quotient is the best. Once you are actually happy in life and able to achieve things which give you strength and help you look forward to waking up every day, is what Recipe Dabba has done for me. Like any journey, mine also had scenarios which didn’t click, but it didn’t deter me from trying out new things.
I am very happy emotionally. It’s a change which this journey has brought forward.
Q. Rakshita… you had the advantage of being a career woman before you began your venture. There are many women out there who don’t have this advantage, who decided to be stay-at-home moms. Do you think for them, getting into their own venture is wise or should they play it safe and perhaps begin with a job?
A. I tell people that you have to see what is your intent and why you want to start back. You also have to understand your own circumstances. If you haven’t worked in the past there could be two reasons why you want to start now, you may be looking to improve the financial state or looking for more meaning in your own circumstances. If it is financials, it may be better to start with a regular job. You can check with what there is on offer and what suits you. However, if you are looking for meaningfulness in your life, you have to find what will help provide you with that.
I ask people to do this exercise and write five or six things that you can do every day without any effort. For example, you may love to dance and you can dance all the time. You may like cooking or content writing or meeting people. You have to pick what you like and figure out opportunities around those things and see what is more sustainable among those opportunities.
For me, there were a couple of things which I tried and then figured out what I can do. Once you figure out what it is you would love to do, you can figure out how you want to do it. It could be you want to start out on your own or you want to partner or collaborate with somebody. You have to figure out the piece that you want to do and also, within that what is missing and how you can solve it. Once you figure this out you will be able to do justice in finding that meaning in yourself. Ask yourself what will make you happy, rather than others, once you find that answer, you will be able to find what you need to do.