A woman who's been a professional athlete, banker, filmmaker, restaurateur and CEO reveals 5 keys to being successful in anything

Miki Agrawal Thinx 1515Sarah JacobsAgrawal is a serial entrepreneur who values hard work above all else.

For THINX co-founder and CEO Miki Agrawal, success is hard-won. And it’s a journey.

The former investment banker, athlete, filmmaker, and restaurateur — and present-day entrepreneur — has spent the last 15 years learning from a wide array of jobs and industries. She’s come away from her experiences with a distinct perspective on leadership, the importance of hard work, and making sure you’re surrounded by the right people.

Here are five of the best bits of advice we picked up from her on how to set yourself up for success.

'You are the average of the five closest friends you keep.'

Sarah Jacobs

In Agrawal's opinion, it's the people you surround yourself with who will exert the most influence over your life, so it's important to create a core group who you can trust.

Agrawal's twin, Radha, is another entrepreneur; she founded the popular Daybreaker alcohol-free morning dance series in 2014. And her partner, Andrew Horn, is a social entrepreneur too, having founded companies dedicated to communications and advocacy. She even lives in a building with a half-dozen close friends, many of them in the entrepreneurial world as well.

'Eliminate the depleters, the people who complain or hold you back.'

Sarah Jacobs

'Don't let other people dim your flame,' says Agrawal. Instead, take a good, hard look at those around you -- and make sure they're contributing positively to your sense of self and your ability to achieve.

If someone is holding you back, or their attitude is negatively impacting your own outlook, don't be afraid to move forward without them.

'Do what you do best -- and bring in other people to do what they do best.'

Sarah Jacobs

For Agrawal, this means recognising your strengths and weaknesses -- and the strengths in others that might complement you best. When she was running her restaurant business, she fortuitously met a business partner and relinquished day-to-day oversight to him, seeing that he was better suited for the operational role.

Similarly, at THINX she functions as CEO and creative director, but makes sure to fill her team with operational and technical talent to support the brand's vision. There are now 25 people working for THINX.

'In order to start a business, you have to have a very healthy level of naïveté.'

Sarah Jacobs

If you know all the barriers you're up against, you might get scared away from starting something new.

Agrawal didn't necessarily know when she started her restaurant business that she'd be working 14-16 hour days, seven days a week, for seven years. But she was passionate about her concept, and certain that no one else was offering what she could create.

Similarly, going into THINX, Agrawal did not have a background in the fashion or textile industry. But that hasn't stopped her from moving forward with her product, and learning all along the way.

'You can't change a culture without a product that works.'

Courtesy of THINX

Aiming to 'disrupt' an industry or a category is a lofty goal. The only way to ultimately achieve that goal? Create a worthy product that delivers on its promise.

With THINX, Agrawal and her team spent over two years in product development, testing fabrics and technologies again and again until they knew they had created something that would truly function as they wanted it to. Reviews have been positive.

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