August’s Fabulous Female is Mallika Malhotra of Short Hills, NJ. Mallika is a mom, wife, author, and entrepreneur! Having three active boys and a flourishing business, she still manages to juggle all of her roles effortlessly.
Mallika attended the University of Michigan where she received a Bachelors in Business Administration. With the desire to continue her education, she enrolled in Emerson College and received a Masters in Integrated Marketing. Mallika worked in corporate advertising for years and had the pleasure to collaborate with such brands as L’Oreal, Oil of Olay, and Clorox. With that experience under her belt, she decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship in 2002 when her eldest son was born.
After launching two other businesses, Mallika discovered her talent for photography and started MikiFoto in 2008. Initially, she specialized in photographing children and families. She built a name for herself, but as time passed, she wanted to branch out of child portraiture and enter the business photography world. The storytelling aspect of photography from a business perspective caught her eye. In an effort to network, she joined a local women’s group.
Joining the women’s group not only allowed Mallika to network but also to build clientele. Mallika was able to help her fellow entrepreneurs by capturing eye-catching and modern headshots for their businesses. As she began to learn about their individual businesses, she knew she wanted to do more. Her desire was to help her fellow entrepreneurs with “strategy, messaging and developing a more comprehensive identity for their brands”. With her photography and a background in marketing, Mallika’s goal was to “help bring their brands to life with images and create a memorable visual brand with depth and distinction”. Her philosophy is that women need to stop hiding and start emerging as leaders.
As Mallika’s business grew, she wanted to share her knowledge with others. The best way for her to do this was to start a mentorship program. Mallika’s mentorship program is called ‘Brand Confidential’. Her program is a 12-week online group training for women entrepreneurs. Mallika teaches her mentees how to get their brand message out in a bigger and more impactful way. She is hands-on and works jointly with them to develop their story, discover their spark, and draft a visibility plan.
With all that Mallika has going on personally and professionally, I asked her the age-old question: how is she able to find balance in her life?
I found her answer intriguing: Mallika shared that she felt balance doesn’t really exist. In her opinion, there are times in life when certain things are going really well, and others need to take the back burner. Her mantra is that you need to kick perfectionism to the curb, embrace the chaos, and be kind to yourself. She did let me in on a secret — she has a Virtual Assistant on her team. Her VA helps with admin tasks and creates content such as blog posts and newsletters.
Mallika also shared that she’s a List Queen (like yours truly). Being a visual person, and a little old school, Mallika does a brain dump every Sunday and transfers her list onto her paper calendar. She also has her daily ‘To Do’ list(s) and focuses on her top 3 revenue-generating tasks first.
In a society where women need to have each other’s back, I asked Mallika how she feels women can support each other. She answered that she feels leadership and transparency are key. As a leader or influencer, we can share our message and expertise with others. She feels that we should be generous with our talents and spread the knowledge. From a transparency perspective, Mallika feels that we need to start being more ‘real’ and not pretend that everything is perfect all of the time. She thinks sharing the good, the bad, AND the ugly moments will go a long way in being inspirational, authentic, and helping to build connections.
You can follow Mallika, and be inspired, at @Mikifotoco on Instagram or on Facebook at MikiFoto & Co. For more about her mentorship program, starting in September, you can learn all the details at MikiFoto.com.