READ & WRITE: "Dive In & Humble Yourself"

 

"Dive In and Humble Yourself": An Interview with Miki Agrawal, Founder of THINX Underwear first appeared on the OKREAL blog.  on July 12, 2016


Doing cool shit requires doing. It’s so easy to talk a big game. A lot of young people think they can read one book or do something for a couple of months and think they’re experts. That’s not how it works.

You have to dive in and humble yourself. You have to do and do and do.

For example, finding the right fabric and technology for THINX took forever. We called so many people who said no, or who said, “You’re not even a brand yet, but I’ll send you a swatch”. This little piece of fabric would take weeks or arrive and testing would take a lot of trial and error. If it didn’t work, we had to go back to the fabric and technology companies saying, “Please, can we just try one more swatch?”

There was a lot of begging and borrowing, and that process required a lot of perseverance. What it taught me was that when someone says no, that’s where the games begin! No means: “How do I get them to say yes?” No is just a temporary yes. You can get anything you want if you just ask in different ways.

I truly believe that you are the average of the five closest friends you keep. If you hang out with shit-talkers, that’s what you’re going to become. If you hang out with people who waste their time and watch sports all weekend and drink beer, that’s going to be you. But if you hang out with people who are lit up and positive, you’re going to become the median of that. I took a good look at my friends from the ages of 25–30, and I eliminated what I call the depleters. These could be people who are like, “Stay in your safe job,” or “Give up.” Versus, “Let’s raise that army. Let’s sit down together once a week and look at where you’re at with your business.” When you start blaming others for what doesn’t work in your life, it’s such bullshit. You can change everything. You can say, “I’m really psyched about what I’m doing here,” or “I’m not getting paid enough,” or just, “Wow, I’m lucky to be alive today.” If you don’t like what you’re dealing with, change it.

Complaining is not mastery. Masters do not complain.

We can, of course, go to our friends and rant and have a cry-fest. That’s totally fine. But the people who constantly complain—get rid of them. Cut them out. You also have to know that there are no guarantees. You don’t know whether or not you’ll succeed, but you have to go in believing that you will. Like people who believe in God—it doesn’t matter what science says about whether or not God exists. In the same way, I believe that this is going to succeed. Half of the people I talked to were like, “Period underwear—brilliant!” The other half were like, “Ew, I’m never using them.” Or when I started raising money and the first 20 people said no. It’s discouraging and demoralizing no matter how confident you are.

But you have to keep up your passion, because passion builds believers. You have to decide, “I am on this train whether you are on it with me or not.” Then focus on loving the work, not the recognition. Love the work, put your head down, crush it, and the rest will come.