Miki Agrawal Discusses the Benefits of Distrusting the Status Quo in Social Entrepreneurship

Miki Agrawal Discusses the Benefits of Distrusting the Status Quo in Social Entrepreneurship

Daniel Hall 09/02/2023
Miki Agrawal Discusses the Benefits of Distrusting the Status Quo in Social Entrepreneurship

Miki Agrawal is a social entrepreneur, advisor, and investor who uses creativity and disruptive innovation to challenge the status quo.

She is the founder of several acclaimed social enterprises like Wild, Thinx, and Tushy, which are collectively valued at over $200 million. She is also the author of the number one best-selling books, Do Cool Sh*t and Disrupt-Her. Miki Agrawal has been named one of Fast Company's Most Creative People, Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum and Inc. Magazine's Most Impressive Women Entrepreneurs. Miki also sits on the board of Conscious Capitalism and advises several startups. She recently discussed her views about developing businesses and disrupting the status quo on Emotionally Uncomfortable, a podcast hosted by Heather Chauvin.

Multiple Roles of Women

The Gender Bias Learning Project has conducted a double-blind study on gender bias that’s about how women are judged for not being moms 24/7 and for being stay-at-home moms without working. That causes a lot of guilt because they have dreams of their own, or because they aren’t doing anything with their lives other than being a mom. We live in a guilt culture, so the first step in moving forward is eliminating that guilt. Women need to allocate some of their time to be the best mom that they can be at that moment, but they also need to allocate some of their time to pursue their dreams. So, Miki Agrawal has built her companies by setting up systems where she has support

Miki is a big saver who doesn’t believe in spending more than she earns. She still managed to save money even when she was making very little by focusing on the things that mattered. She owns a few pairs of comfortable shoes, exercises, and eats healthy food. She also has help to support her, so she has time to take care of other things with her full energy while remaining attentive to her baby. This approach dives into guilt and removes those feelings that prevent us from moving forward. It's really about investing in the quality of those things that matter to you.

Miki says about managing her life, “There's been a little bit of overlap of like, recalibrating the multitasking with being present with my kid, and managing my businesses and the home and taking care of everything.”

Miki Agrawal’s Views on Social Entrepreneurship


Social entrepreneurship is the future of entrepreneurship because you can’t care about anything unless there is some deep purpose behind it. Miki Agrawal always advises entrepreneurs not to start with a t-shirt company because many such companies already exist, and they don’t solve real-world problems.

All of the companies Miki has built have been social enterprises. For example, her current company has helped save four million trees from getting flushed down the toilet, and it has also built clean toilets for 60,000 families in India. Her companies have also funded many recycling projects in addition to forestry projects in South America. There are many things that need our time and attention, so we need to build businesses that strongly support them.

International Perspectives

Miki’s mother is from Japan, her father is from India, and she grew up in French Canada. As a result, she had many perspectives, which often created debate. It’s interesting to see the world in a unique way because people from different countries think about problems very differently. When you solve a problem in a developed country, it's usually a bigger problem in the developing world. In traveling to India six times, Miki has become aware of the great disparity between the wealthy and the poor. Miki’s father didn't have access to a clean toilet for long periods during his childhood, and he still has nightmares about it to this day.

Staying Motivated

Miki experiences when she just wants to let some energy out, so she started using a punching bag. She’s never wanted to stop working, but she has wanted to take a weekend off to catch her breath, be with friends, hang out, and have fun. Women often burn out because they never refuel, making long-term success a matter of resource allocation. Miki is very frugal in some ways but very generous in others. One of the ways she is generous with herself is by taking care of her body and what she puts in it. She also gives herself enough time to talk with her friends, laugh and be part of her community.

Many people isolate themselves when they have kids because they move to a single-family home in the middle of nowhere. As a result, they can’t go anywhere because everything is 30 minutes away. Miki still enjoys having a dinner party on Friday nights and inviting people over for a potluck meal. Community and sleep are important, as is taking care of the inside and outside of your body.

Miki Agrawal’s Health Battles

Miki had a deep hyperthyroid condition that she fought and beat. Her doctors wanted to take her thyroid gland out and perform radioactive iodine therapy, requiring her to take four pills a day for the rest of her life. However, she decided to go the functional medicine route. She followed an elimination diet for two years to get stress out of her body. She also took vitamins to fortify herself, got more sleep, and started exercising. These changes paid dividends, and she is now healthier than ever.

Miki’s thyroid condition is also the reason she started Tushy. Her new diet increased the frequency of her bowel movements, causing her to become raw and tender due to using toilet paper so often. Her husband got her a bidet for Valentine’s day, which completely changed her life. She decided to create a market for bidets in America due to their health and environmental benefits.

Bidets are quite common in Asia, Europe, South America, and the Middle East, but have remained rare in the US. Miki decided to change that mentality by educating people on their benefits and has now sold almost 1.5 million bidets in the US. This is just one example of Miki’s business practice of turning lemons into lemonade.


Miki Agrawal wrote Do Cool Shit, because she couldn't find any books that can take you from step zero to step one in starting your business. She read autobiographies by Richard Branson and Tony Shea, who said they raised $1 million dollars, but she wanted to know how they raised their first $25,000. Her book is a fast-paced story that gives the reader step-by-step instructions on achieving this goal, like what emails to send potential investors. She also advocates bringing the right people into the room to help brainstorm ideas, which is a win/win for both parties. This book also includes tips for getting PR and marketing, which are the first pieces of taking a business from step zero to step one.

Miki’s next book was Disrupt-Her, which talks about building her companies Wild, Thinx, and Tushy. WILD is a gluten-free NYC-based pizzeria chain, THINX makes sustainable women’s period underwear and other female hygiene products, and Tushy makes bidet attachments that are easily attached to most toilets.

Disrupt-Her is essentially a manifesto for disrupting beliefs that are based on the fact that all of our beliefs are made up, including social systems, money, careers, and family structures. Everything in our lives has been brought to us by some traditional way of doing something, mostly by men in the patriarchy. Since these things are all made up, we can invent new possibilities in all the major areas of life. This disruptive way of thinking can be scary because it’s easier to just stand in line and do what everyone else is doing. However, doing things in a disruptive manner creates greater opportunity for abundance because you're being true to yourself.

Miki Agrawal summarizes her approach to life as the difference between a leader and a master. A leader is someone on their horse with a sword, charging forward by expending 100 percent of their effort. A master is someone who puts forth 60 to 70 percent of their energy in creating space for things to come to them. They aren’t simply waiting for things to appear, but are creating the opportunity for them to do so. This is a lesson that Miki has to learn each day because she has a tendency to get on the horse, without thinking about all the seeds she’s planted.

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Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.


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