Inspiring and Empowering Stories
The Forward Effect of Inspiring Stories
As an entrepreneur and corporate executive, Varsha Rao believes that there is something to learn from everyone. She is always on the lookout for new stories of endurance, creativity, and success. In fact, the stories don't necessarily have to be new, she says, even if you have heard the story before, each speaker or writer possesses their own print, articulating a well-known subject in such a different way, that one can come away with new information that was never heard before.
Varsha Rao has spent most of her professional life as an entrepreneur or executive of high-growth organizations, and as such she knows how challenging a career in innovation can be. Entrepreneurs from all fields face many challenges on many different levels, and can easily reach a point of burnout or disappointment with the pace of success or the setbacks. She also knows that sharing experiences and learning from others can help. Reading about fellow professionals who have traveled the same journey, provides an opportunity to learn about their approaches, challenges, disappointments, and successes. Through these stories, one can see oneself and come away with new energy, information, and insights.
Giving Back to a New Generation of Leaders
Throughout her career, Varsha Rao has been personally involved in a number of initiatives focused on giving support to young leaders and the next generation of entrepreneurs. She donates to educational enrichment programs for economically disadvantaged secondary school students to help them achieve a college education. She advises new founders and helps them connect to the vital resources they need to excel, and mentors in the KStart Incubator, a program that nurtures young startups in India. Rao frequently speaks at conferences and workshops sharing her experience and knowledge with those set out on a similar path. She has also invested in a number of promising startups that are contributing to innovation in a wide variety of professional fields.
Sharing Stories of Inspiration
As she believes not only in the power of education and experience but also in the power of stories, Varsha has taken it upon herself to share the stories that inspire her with her online audience. On her Empowering Stories Blog, she discusses books, articles, talks, and initiatives she has drawn knowledge and encouragement from along the way. The blog features a diverse collection of energizing and thought-provoking resources, from reports on disruptive startups, through reviews of must-reads for any entrepreneur to discussions of psychological, sociological and political phenomena that are shaping our lives.
Among the stories featured on the blog, one can find an account of the Nurx web platform, which is changing the rules of the game when it comes to birth control by enabling women to safely and responsibly purchase their contraceptives online. As an avid reader, Rao discusses several books she has found inspiring like Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, Thank You for Being Late by Thomas L. Friedman, and Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
By offering such a rich tapestry of insightful materials Varsha's blog is in itself an accessible source of inspiration for anyone in need of a fresh perspective or an encouraging word.