Perched on my couch, typing for hours on the laptop is how I started my company (then blog) MissMalini, 10 years ago. From being a professional dancer to becoming an entertainment brand, I have always aimed for work-life amalgamation.
Back in 2000, I kick-started my career in Mumbai as a professional dancer in a dance troupe. Later, I went on to become a radio jockey at multiple channels, the programming director at Radio One, digital content head at Channel (V) India and also did a stint as a Bollywood correspondent at BBC Asia. When I was working in radio, ‘Malini’s Mumbai’, a gossip column, where I documented all the fun things I did in the city, was my to-do thing once I hit the couch at home. Once it started becoming popular, I taught myself copywriting and photoshop to increase the number of clicks on my blog and to ensure I could get my content out to more people.
Besides being an entrepreneur, I also juggle between being a TV host, a digital influencer and a best-selling author! No two days have been alike for me. From the good old days of blogging in my PJs to interviewing Bollywood biggies and now to being a digital media stalwart, it’s been an exciting journey, to say the least.
Here’s a look at what my very busy day looks like:
Hair and Make-up:
Despite my continuous efforts to sleep early, my day starts with not enough sleep, followed by my hair and make-up. Mundane tasks like checking emails on the phone and clearing messages are also a part of my morning routine.
Managing Content as Creative Director:
As a stickler for perfection, it’s imperative for me to run through most of the content that goes out. Having grown to a team of 65, there’s always something to review or offer my opinion on. I realized very early on in my career that the kind of unfiltered chatter that exists on social media can easily hurt people’s feelings. Our followers are people too. It’s time we treat them as such. And that’s why we have the following rules – ‘never post anything about someone that you couldn’t say to their face,’ ‘spark joy by what you post’ and ‘remember followers are people too’.
Doing Interviews and Speaking on Panels:
Sometimes, I’m out doing interviews for various magazines like Forbes India and Fortune India alongside websites such as Yourstory, Social Samosa, etc. Often, interviewing the who’s who of Bollywood and speaking on interview panels such as HT Brand Studio and others makes up for a large chunk of my schedule in recent years.
Building the Women’s Community:
With fame comes immense responsibility – and, I take this very seriously! Attending events organised by associations like the Women Innovation Entrepreneurship Foundation (WIEF) and We the Women has become an important part of my schedule which I like to put more focus on now. Women helping women, rather than pulling each other down, is the need of the hour. Have you ever wondered why, a group of men can enjoy drinking with each other and go back and sleep peacefully whereas, girls mostly end up bitching about each other after exiting the venue? My aim is for all of us to strive to uplift our sisterhood rather than bringing each other down. As a crucial step in this direction, MissMalini has launched a campaign, Malini’s Girl Tribe – a place for women to network, share, and support and connect.
Managing Career Trajectories:
As MissMalini continues to grow beyond my dreams, my journey has led me to tread different paths. In 2017, I published my first book, ‘To the Moon: How I Blogged My Way to Bollywood’ with Harper Collins which was met with love and appreciation from all ends. I’m also in the process of writing my second book with them. Recently, I also launched TikTok on my most beloved blog to connect with a wider millennial audience and I can already feel it is an excellent experience!
As a digital influencer and boss lady, I have many hats to wear. Today, the virtual world is definitely another form of reality. Social media is a distorted mirror of the happy moments of our life. It only reflects the highlights without revealing how we are actually feeling that day. At a recent TEDx speech that I delivered, I stressed upon the concept of social fatigue that is eventually taking over the internet. As a role model, I would like to encourage you to inject a bit of kindness and empathy into what you post on social media. Delete the negative trolls and feeds. Remember, what you post today is going to be on the internet forever and it has an impact far greater than you think it does.
So let your next insta story, your next tweet spread some joy. After all, followers are people too! Care a little more! Spread smiles and positivity with what you post!
P.S; You can still spot me blogging on my sofa, occasionally, when the mood dictates!