Success Story

Member Spotlight Q&A with Trupti Patel, D1F7

My energy was a bit low for the first few minutes. I blame the weather. Then, Trupti jumped on and immediately introduced herself with a confidence and gusto that I haven’t encountered in months — especially on Zoom. Within seconds, I knew that we had someone special on our hands.

Sep 13
4 min

Sitting at my kitchen table on a rainy afternoon, I logged into Zoom to facilitate a virtual breakout room for a few D1F7 fellows. My energy was a bit low for the first few minutes. I blame the weather. Then, Trupti jumped on and immediately introduced herself with a confidence and gusto that I haven’t encountered in months — especially on Zoom. Within seconds, I knew that we had someone special on our hands.

Fast forward a few months, and after an admirable growth trajectory in Day One, Trupti gave a fantastic presentation at the D1F7 showcase. The following spotlight is a Q+A with Trupti — one of our fellows that you’re definitely going to want to keep an eye on.

So Trupti, tell us a little bit about you! Where are you from? What are your interests? What do you want people to know about you?

I’m the legacy of two suitcases and $8.

My family is of Indian Origin and immigrated to the US in 1978.  I grew up in the deep South —the state of Louisiana.  I’m actually quite boring I think — I do become fascinated on various topics — so I do go down the rabbit hole on things.  I’m doing all the reckless things I should have done in my 20’s now in my 40’s — I’m currently bartending as I figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

What is your professional history like?

I was the District of Columbia’s second Indian-American woman Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner. I represented the Historic Foggy Bottom District and ran for office when elected officials ignored my voice and vote and repealed One Fair Wage.

I’m part of the national movement seeking to end the last vestige of Jim Crow — the sub-minimum wage — and pay all workers the full minimum wage plus tips on top. As a member leader of ROC-DC (Restaurant Opportunities Center) I’ve focused on issues such as wage theft and sexual harassment that impact tipped workers in the restaurant industry.

I hold a Masters in Political Management from George Washington University with concentrations in Corporate Public Affairs and Lobbying. I’ve always been a strong advocate of social justice, focusing on communications, political outreach, and grassroots advocacy for various causes in diverse communities.

You may find me causing good trouble amongst local leaders in D.C. for a more equitable and just city where I love to serve my constituents.

What were you doing before Day One? What led you to Day One?

Before Day One, I was figuring out next steps professionally.  I was burnt out of the rat race and wasn’t excited about working for someone else. I reached the stage where I realized that working for myself would be better than being at someone else’s whims, so I  started to look for where I could go learn to put up my own shingle.

Tell us about your new company. Why did you start it? What problem do you hope to solve in the world?

I’m in the very beginning stages of tackling my new business idea.

I want to coach potential political candidates who are running for the first time who do not fit the model of being candidates. I want to help the blue collar non-networked person run for office.  The problem I want to solve in the world is the lack of excitement about the political process.

How is it going?

So far it’s been exciting! As I reveal what I want to do, I realized that have so many people cheering me on. I’m just focusing now on how to build it strategically and sustainably.

What has been the hardest part about your entrepreneurial journey so far?

Dealing with my own inner critic and imposter syndrome.

What has been the biggest surprise about entrepreneurship that you’ve encountered so far?

The biggest surprise thus far has been realizing that I’m not the only one feeling the anxiety about doing it, but I love the sense of a collective cheering squad!

What do you wish someone told you about entrepreneurship one year ago?

You’re going to be scared out of your mind. Do it anyway.

What has been the most valuable part of your Day One experience so far?

Hands down, the coaches and mentors. I don’t think I could have taken this leap into the entrepreneurial lifestyle without them.

What is one question that people don’t ask you that you wish more people would ask you?

Why are you starting your own business now?

How can people get in touch with you and your company?

Shoot me a DM on Linkedin or on Twitter!

What is the best way for people to help you these days?

Constructive feedback is always SO helpful and welcome, and please let me know who you think  I should be talking to at this stage in the game.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the world, either about yourself, your company, your entrepreneurial journey, or Day One?

Day One is exactly what I needed. As someone who can figure out a lot of things, I still needed to have some guidance along the way.


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