← Techstars Blog

Today’s post comes from Nishika de Rosairo, CEO, Creative Director, and founder of dE ROSAIRO. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Nishika built a corporate career with Deloitte, Cisco, and Salesforce. In addition to leading her business, Nishika serves on several boards including Startup Women, Upward, and the Center for International Business Education and Research.

“Aren’t you scared?”
“What will you do if you fail?”
“You have no experience in the industry, how will you succeed?”
“Don’t worry, you can always go back to Corporate America”

… and so the questions and comments flooded in…

What surprised me the most was that these questions and comments were being dished out from a combination of people who knew me very well, and also from those who didn’t know me at all.

I soon started to realize that non-entrepreneurs were projecting their own anxieties of starting a business onto me.

So the real question became:

How do you listen to the parts that matter, and turn off the parts that don’t?

An Entrepreneur is Born

For me, entrepreneurship has always felt very real. I was still a teenager when I came to the realization that life would be boring if everyone succumbed to practices and principles denoting linear patterns of thinking and execution, simply because they made life easy to explain and easy to understand.

My version of happiness started to emerge around the same time when I turned to mentors such as Sir Richard Branson and Anthony Robbins. They taught me that happiness was a state of mind, achieved through a non-linear journey of strategy, discovery, and perspective: the perfect mindset for an entrepreneur.

I grew up with an adventurous spirit, and by the time I reached my 30s, I was living on my fourth continent, had traveled to over 40 countries, and my career in the corporate world was ripe and flourishing. Over my 10 years in Corporate America, I had the incredible opportunity of learning a repertoire of deep knowledge and expertise from the best of the best: Deloitte Consulting, Salesforce, Apple, Levi, Cisco, Chevron, and many others.

 

Even still, I wanted more.

I decided it was time to turn in the stability of a steady paycheck for something that was much more adventurous and impactful.

I wanted to change the world, one design at a time.

 

Building a Business

Finally, my business – dE ROSAIRO (pronounced ‘day ro-zai-ro’) — was born: it was a childhood dream coupled with a deep desire to influence the world through the inherent psychology behind the clothes we wear.

I spent 10 months writing my business plan and building the business on nights and weekends, all while still employed full time at Salesforce. At the end of that time, I had my first collection of sketches sitting on hangers in a sales showroom in Los Angeles. I built dE ROSAIRO on the founding principle of ‘Look Feel Lead’, which translates into — how you Look, is how you Feel, is how you Lead. The idea being that how we dress influences how we feel, and on the flipside, how we feel influences how we dress.

No matter how many people have shared their years of wisdom with me, not one person, or any one experience, could have truly prepared me for the broad depth and range of mental and physical strength it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Doubt is Part of the Journey

There are days I have wanted to pull my hair out, and then there are days that I know I am doing exactly what I should be. I would be lying if I didn’t admit the rough days.  

But the truth is: doubt is a part of the journey, as it continues to provide me with an opportunity to question even my most basic set of assumptions. Healthy businesses cannot be built on complacency and self-assurance.

Mistakes will be made, money will be lost, and through it all, the question that we will need to keep answering is – am I still aligned with my vision?

Why does alignment matter? It matters for two key reasons:

  1. When we launch a business, we should aim to build a foundation that aligns with our personal set of values. We need to ask ourselves: what matters to me? How do I want to affect the lives of others? What do I want my legacy to be?
  2. Doing ‘good business’ is no longer the icing on the cake; in today’s world it is a basic expectation. This means we each have a role to play.

Through this journey, what I’ve come to discover is: there is no greater measure of self-fulfillment than when profit, individual values, and ‘good business’ intersect.

So when you’re on the brink of YOUR entrepreneurial journey, and when people ask you:

“Aren’t you scared?”
“What will you do if you fail?”
“You have no experience in the industry, how will you succeed?”

Tell them that you would rather give it your best shot than regret not trying.

Tell them that you desire transformative growth in your life that a steady paycheck cannot provide.

Tell them that changing the world is worth the calculated gamble.


, , ,


Nishika de Rosairo Nishika de Rosairo
Nishika is the CEO & Creative Director of dE ROSAIRO; a contemporary womenswear luxury brand built on the concept of Look Feel Lead, and made in New York and San Francisco. Nishika is actively involved in the non-profit space of Human Trafficking, and is also a leadership coach to entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and their executive teams. She believes that personal branding and visionary leadership leads to success and doing ‘good business’.