Interested in starting your entrepreneurial journey but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Priyanka Mehandiratta - founder and CEO of Unmute - based in Toronto, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Unmute is a consulting firm specializing in women's leadership development. It offers a collection of programs designed to mentor and empower women and their allies. Customer - every woman who is looking to unleash her potential is my customer.

Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised in India. Being the first child in the family meant I had my life planned before I was conceived. I must walk the template set before her as a faultless example for my siblings and dozens of cousins to model their lives. Of course, it didn't matter if I desired a version of life different from the one society gave me. It would be a sacrilege for me to go against the rules. Years later, when I moved to Canada, her conditioned values and a culture of silence hindered my career growth. I knew that she had to unlearn the myths that hold me down and learn and relearn counter principles and values to find my voice. I struggled with this challenge for a long time until I decided to do something about it. This simple plan transformed my life and laid the trajectory for her career success.

My vision for Unmute came not from an outside inspiration but a personal experience with life as a woman. Before founding Unmute, I became an MBA Graduate, a Certified Training and Facilitation Professional, and a Certified Executive Coach with solid expertise in developing leaders at all levels to be more human. I was also an Activator with Sheeo, a global funding platform supporting women entrepreneurs that solves world problems. Springing from years of solid experience, I founded Unmute to untangle more women from the shacks of gender-designated roles. I share the urgent need for women to find their voice, especially with recent reports showing that one in four women are considering leaving the workforce as an impact of Covid-19. The only way to fight against the suppressive system is to build a counter system. I believe Unmute is a way for women to get ahead and experience personal success.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Success is a very relative term. There is no clear way of defining success. Once that dream is achieved, success gets a new name and meaning. Since we have established that the definition of success is different for different individuals. On a personal level, Launching Unmute as a business in a middle of a pandemic is a success in itself. I was ridiculed for taking this step. However, my haters are now muted.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Thinking you have all the answers. It’s important to remember that, as a business owner, you are one person. Part of the entrepreneurial journey is knowing that you will have to figure things out as they come at you. There is simply no way you could already have all the answers, but do what you can to be thoughtful and prepare. Business plans are great as they encourage you to consider all facets of the business. After you have a business plan, your next job will be to assemble the right team (including your virtual team of employees, your board of advisors, and mentors) to support you in navigating the challenges and opportunities you will face.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

I am a firm believer that you shouldn’t do it because you want to make money. Money isn’t what drives your business. It’s a by-product. What problems would you like to solve, and what impact can you make? My advice is that the effect should be at the core of your business. It would help if you never had to wait to make an impact. Clearly define the results you want to make with a company from the beginning, and you’re more likely to achieve your goals. If you’re thinking of starting a business, stop asking yourself: What is your true passion? What makes you the most excited about what you are doing? The difference between those who push through difficult times and those who quit is passion. Passion and impact have to work in unison for a company to be successful.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

The motivation you are looking for outside is inside of you. Nothing works unless you do. When things go south, I don’t blame others. I take responsibility for my actions and find ways to get ahead instead. Failure is a part of success. This approach has worked for me at all times.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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